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Full text of "The voyage of Captain Popanilla"

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THE VOYAGE 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 



LONDON : 
PRINTED BY S. AND R. BENTLEV 

Dorset Street, Fleet Street. 



HE 



VOYAGE 



OF 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 



BY 



THE AUTHOR OF "VIVIAN GREY. 



" Travellers ne'er did lie, tho' fools at home condemu 'em.'"' 



LONDON : 

HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

1828. 



TO 

ROBERT WARD, ESQ., 

&c. &c. &c. 

OF CHESHAM WOBURN HALL, IN THE COUNTY OF BUCKS, 

THE FOLLOWING PAGES 

ARE INSCRTBED BY ONE, 

WHO ADMIRES HIS TALENTS, AND 

ESTEEMS HIS FRIENDSHIP. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



This Narrative of the Voyage of Captain 
Popanilla is drawn up from a volume once in 
the possession of my esteemed friend, the late 
Professor Dunkel, of Heidelburg, and given to 
him by a Russian gentleman, who purchased it 
of an Armenian at Teflis. 

The manuscript is in modern Greek. I offer 
this as a very free translation. In preparing it 
for the English reader, I have introduced many 
expressions which an English reader only can 
comprehend ; and I have not hesitated, in nu- 
merous instances, to substitute terms and titles 
peculiar to ourselves and our countr}^, whenever 
I thought that they would render the narrative 



VJU ADVEllTIbEMENT. 

more clear and simple, and were justified by 
equivalent expressions in the original. I ought, 
however, to confess, that all this was done, and 
the whole Translation executed under the idea 
that that original was of course a fiction ; but I 
have since discovered, with no slight dismay, 
that the learned Dunkel was of a different opi- 
nion. He has left a dissertation upon the pro- 
bable locality of Vraibleusia, and is inclined to 
believe the Indian Isle to be the Taprobane 
of the Ancients. 



THE VOYAGE 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 



CHAPTER I. 



There is an Island in the Indian Ocean, so 
unfortunate as not yet to have been visited 
either by Discovery Ships or Bible Societies. 
Nature, however, who, as philosophers daily 
prove, often behaves in a very unnatural man- 
ner, has not evinced by her conduct a due sense 
of the ignorance and irreligion of this place ; 
but, on the contrary, has lavished on it blessings 
not enjoyed by countries far more chemical and 
christian. 

B 



» THE VOYAGE OF 

If I had possessed that profound historical 
knowledge which is so essentially necessary to 
writers of fiction, I would have commenced this 
tale with a dissertation on the dynasty and doc- 
trines of Buddha. If I had been gifted with 
that statistical head for which our high priests 
of Fancy are so justly celebrated, I might per- 
haps have compensated for the uninteresting 
character of my hero, by giving a minute ac- 
count of the natural and artificial objects of the 
countries in which he ought to be interesting. 
But all this is above me. I can imitate the in- 
ventors of the present day only in one particular 
— all that I write is fact. 

The description of my island has cost me six 
months of constant composition, and each day 
it has grown more misty. I have consulted 
public libraries, and I have exhausted private 
collections. I have authorities for every circum- 
stance, and every creature ; my geography is 
most chorographically correct, my botany most 
generically minute, my mineralogy indisputable. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 3 

my geology undisputed ; not less profound, and 
not less accurate, are my zoology, my ornitho- 
logy, and my icthyology. Yet, with all my 
longitudes, and latitudes; all my shrubs, and 
trees, and flowers, and forests ; all my precious 
stones, and all my primitive formations ; all my 
beasts, and all my birds, and all my fishes ; my 
Indian Isle is about as intelligible as a man 
who has accepted office without his party. 

Our national phrase maintains, that it is 
easier to imagine than to describe. The anti- 
quity of this axiom, like the antiquity of many 
other things, must be, with all candid and dis- 
cerning minds, indisputable evidence of its 
truth ; otherwise, were one to judge from our 
modern romances, one might be tempted to sus- 
pect that this aphorism should be reversed. 
This, as it may be ; my Island must be left to 
the fancy of my readers. It is a place where all 
those things are constantly found which men 
most desire to see, and with the sight of which 
they are seldom favoured. It abounds in 
B 2 



4 THE VOYAGE OF 

flowers, and fruit, and sunshine. Lofty moun- 
tains, covered with green and mighty forests, 
except where the red rocks catch the fierce 
beams of the blazing sun, bowery valleys, 
broad lakes, gigantic trees, and gushing rivers 
bursting from rocky gorges, are crowned with 
a purple and ever cloudless sky. Summer, in 
its most unctuous state and most mellow ma- 
jesty, is here perpetual. So intense and over- 
powering, in the daytime, is the rich union of 
heat and perfume, that living animal or creature 
is never visible ; and were you and I to pluck, 
before sunset, the huge fruit from yonder teem- 
ing tree, we might fancy ourselves for the mo- 
ment the future sinners of another Eden. Yet 
a solitude it is not. 

The Island is surrounded by a calm and blue 
lagoon, formed by a ridge of coral rocks, which 
break the swell of the ocean, and prevent the 
noxious spray from banishing the rich shrubs 
which grow even to the water's edge. It is a 
few minutes before sunset, that the first inti- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 5 

mation of animal existence in this seeming soli- 
tude is given, by the appearance of mermaids ; 
who, floating on the rosy sea, congregate 
about these rocks. They sound a loud but 
melodious chorus from their sea-shells, and a 
faint and distant chorus soon answers from the 
Island. The mermaidens immediately repeat 
their salutations, and are greeted with a nearer 
and a louder answer. As the red and rayless 
sun drops into the glowing waters, the choruses 
simultaneously join ; and rushing from the 
woods, and down the mountain steeps to the 
nearest shore, crowds of human beings, at the 
same moment, appear and collect. 

The inhabitants of this island, in form and 
face, do not misbecome the clime and the coun- 
try. With the vivacity of a Faun, the men 
combine the strength of a Hercules, and the 
beauty of an Adonis ; and, as their more inte- 
resting companions flash upon his presence, the 
least classical of poets might be excused for 
imagining, that, like their blessed Goddess, the 



6 THE VOYAGE OF 

women had magically sprung from the brilliant 
foam of that ocean, which is gradually subsiding 
before them. 

But Sunset in this land is not the signal 
merely for the evidence of human existence. 
At the moment that the Islanders, crowned with 
flowers, and waving goblets and garlands, burst 
from their retreats, upon each mountain peak 
a lion starts forward, stretches his proud tail, 
and, bellowing to the sun, scours back exulting 
to his forest — immense bodies, which before 
would have been mistaken for the trunks of 
trees, now move into life ; and serpents, untwi- 
ning their green and glittering folds, and slowly 
bending their crested heads around, seem proud- 
ly conscious of a voluptuous existence — troops 
of monkeys leap from tree to tree — panthers start 
forward, and alarmed, not alarming, instantly 
vanish — a herd of milk-white elephants tram- 
ples over the back-ground of the scene ; and 
instead of gloomy owls and noxious beetles, to 
hail the long enduring twilight, from the bell of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 7 

every opening flower, beautiful birds, radiant 
with every rainbow tint, rush with a long and 
living melody into the cool air. 

The twilight in this Island is not that tran- 
sient moment of unearthly bliss, which, in our 
less favoured regions, always leaves us so 
thoughtful and so sad ; on the contrary, it lasts 
many hours, and consequently the Islanders are 
neither moody nor sorrowful. As they sleep 
during the day, four or five hours of " tipsy 
dance and revelry" are exercise, and not fatigue. 
At length, even in this delightful region, the rosy 
tint fades into purple, and the purple into blue — 
the white moon gleams, and at length glitters, — 
and the invisible stars first creep into light, and 
then blaze into radiancy. But no hateful dews 
discolour their loveliness ; and so clear is the air, 
that instead of the false appearance of a studded 
vault, the celestial bodies may be seen floating 
in aether, at various distances and of various tints. 
Ere the showery fire-flies have ceased to shine, 
and the blue lights to play about the tremulous 



b THE VOYAGE OP 

horizon — amidst the voices of a thousand birds, 
the dancers solace themselves with the rarest 
fruits, the most deUcate fish, and the most deh- 
cious wines : but flesh they love not. They are 
an innocent and a happy, though a voluptuous 
and ignorant race. They have no manufactures, 
no commerce, no agriculture, and no printing- 
presses : but for their slight clothing they wear 
the bright skins of serpents — for corn. Nature 
gives them the bread-fruit — and for intellectual 
amusement, they have a pregnant fancy and a 
ready wit — tell inexhaustible stories, and always 
laugh at each other's jokes. A natural instinct 
gave them the art of making wine ; and jt was 
the same benevolent Nature that blessed them 
also with a knowledge of the art of making love. 
But time flies even here. The lovely compa- 
nions have danced, and sung, and banqueted, 
and laughed — what further bliss remains for 
man ? They rise, and in pairs wander about 
the Island, and then to their bowers : their life 
ends with the Night they love so well ; and ere 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 



Day, the everlasting conqueror, wave his flam- 
ing standard in the luminous East, solitude 
and silence will again reign in the Isle of 
Fantaisie. 



B o 



10 THE VOYAGE OF 



I 

CHAPTER II. 

The last and loudest chorus had died away, 
and the Islanders were pouring forth their li- 
bation to their great enemy the Sun, when 
suddenly a vast obscurity spread over the glow- 
ing West. They looked at each other, and 
turned pale, and the wine from their trenibling 
goblets fell useless on the shore. The women 
were too frightened to scream, and, for the 
first time in the Isle of Fantaisie, silence ex- 
isted after sunset. They were encouraged 
when they observed that the darkness ceased 
at that point in the heavens which overlooked 
their coral rocks ; and perceiving that their 
hitherto unsullied sky was pure, even at this 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 11 

moment of otherwise universal gloom, the men 
regained their colour, touched the goblets with 
their lips, farther to reanimate themselves ; and 
the women, now less discomposed, uttered loud 
shrieks. 

Suddenly the wind roared with unaccustomed 
rage, the sea rose into large billows, and a ship 
was seen tossing in the offing. The Islanders, 
whose experience of navigation extended only 
to a shght paddling in their lagoon, in the 
half of a hollow trunk of a tree, for the pur- 
pose of fishing, mistook the tight little frigate 
for a great fish ; and being now aware of the 
cause of this disturbance, and at the same time 
feeling confident that the monster could never 
make way through the shallow waters to the 
Island, they perfectly recovered their courage ; 
and gazed upon the labouring leviathan with 
the same interested nonchalance, with which 
students at a modern lecture observe an ex- 
pounding philosopher. 

" What a shadow he casts over the sky !" 



12 THE VOYAGE OF 

said the King, a young and rather efFeminate 
man, whose divine right was never questioned 
by his female subjects. " What a commotion 
in the waters, and what a wind he snorts forth ! 
It certainly must be the largest fish that ex- 
ists. I remember my father telling me that a 
monstrous fish once got entangled among our 
rocks, and this part of the Island really smelt 
for a month ; I cannot help fancying that there 
is a rather odd smell now — pah !"" 

A favourite Queen flew to the suffering 
monarch, and pressing her aromatic lips upon 
his offended nostrils, his Majesty recovered. 

The unhappy crew of the frigate, who, with 
the aid of their telescopes, had detected the 
crowds upon the shore, now fired their signal 
guns of distress, which came sullenly booming 
through the wind. 

" Oh ! the great fish is speaking !" was the 
universal exclamation. 

How very unenlightened ! The Fantaisians, 
however, are not the first race who have mis- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 13 

taken a frigate for a fish ; nor would they 
perhaps have failed in their inquiry, had they 
sought after a precedent for burning those pig- 
headed people, who maintain that an inanimate 
substance is not a living body. 

" I begin to get frightened," said the fa- 
vourite Queen. '^ I am sure the monster is 
coming here !" So saying, her Majesty grasp- 
ed up a handful of pearls from the shore, to 
defend herself. 

As screaming was now the fashion, all the 
women of course screamed ; and animated by 
the example of their sovereign, and armed with 
the marine gems, the Amazons assumed a very 
imposing attitude. But the unusual exertion 
was too much for their nerves ; and, in a few 
minutes, they flew to the arms of the men for 
safety and consolation. 

There is not, perhaps, a subHmer sight in 
the world, than an island with a free constitu- 
tion, under the fear of Invasion. So much 
public spirit ! and so many public contracts ! 



14 THE VOYAGE OF 

Pity that a contrary wind should so often pre- 
vent the first being put to the test, and the 
second being put to an end ! However, al- 
though the wind may blow north-east, no doubt 
the spectacle is a very magnificent one, and 
" quite refreshing,"* to every true lover of 
liberty, civil and religious — particularly if he 
be a builder of Martello towers. At the pre- 
sent crisis, when Fantaisie expected every man 
to do his duty, it is a gratifying and a proud 
task for the historian, to record that every man 
did it. How often, and in what manner each 
man distinguished himself, it would be tedious 
here to relate. All that I can say is, that the 
ladies were quite satisfied, — and in the Isle of 
Fantaisie, their approbation was of course a 

* National phrase — unknown to Johnson, Hume, Gib- 
bon, or any of the superseded writers ; but, on the other 
hand, a great favourite with the periodical literature of 
Great Britain, — a literature, I may be excused for ob- 
serving, the omniscience of which is demonstrated by 
the simple fact, that those who study it, never feel 
themselves under the necessity of studying any other. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 15 

much greater reward, than a collar or a cross. 
Even the very children were not inactive. The 
Crown Prince, a very energetic youth, — who, 
having occasionally caught a few gold and sil- 
ver fish in the surrounding waters, was duly 
qualified for the office of Lord High Admiral 
— maintained his reputation for courage in an 
eminent degree ; and when the stoutest seem- 
ed exhausted, continued his exertions with an 
ardour, which, had there been a Gazette in the 
Island, must certainly have been noticed. 

Just at the moment that they had worked 
up their enthusiasm to the highest pitch, and 
were actually desirous of dying for their coun- 
try — the ship sunk ; but with such a crash 
of thunder, and such a flash of lightning, that 
the whole of the patriotic Fantaisians — King, 
Queen, Crown Prince, and all — sunk upon 
their knees, and frightened, for the first time 
in their life, immediately declared Thunder 
and Lightning to be the established Religion 
of the Country. 



16 THE VOYAGE OV 



CHAPTER III. 

It is the flush of noon ; and, strange to say, 
a human figure is seen wandering on the shore 
of the Isle of Fantaisie. 

" One of the crew of the wrecked frigate of 
course ? What an escape ! Fortunate creature ! 
interesting man ! Probably the indefatigable 
Captain Parry, — possibly the undaunted Cap- 
tain Franklin, — perhaps the adventurous Cap- 
tain Lyon !" 

No ! sweet blue-eyed girl ! my plots are not 
of that extremely guessable nature, so admired 
by your adorable sex. Indeed, this book is so 
constructed, that if you were even, according 
to custom, to commence its perusal by reading 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 17 

the last page, you would not gain the slightest 
assistance in finding out " how the story ends." 

The wanderer belongs to no frigate-building 
nation. He is a true Fantaisian ; who having, 
in his fright, during yesterday's storm, lost the 
lock of hair which, in a moment of glorious 
favour, he had ravished from his fair mistress's 
brow, is now, after a night of sleepless agony, 
tracing every remembered haunt of yesterday, 
with the fond hope of regaining his most pre- 
cious treasure. Ye Gentlemen of England who 
live at home at ease, know full well the anxiety 
and exertion, the days of management, and 
the nights of meditation, which the rape of a 
lock requires, and you can consequently sympa- 
thize with the agitated feelings of the handsome 
and the hapless Popanilla. 

The favourite of all the women, the envy of 
all the men, &c. kc. &c.^you know the rest, — 
Popanilla passed an extremely pleasant life. 
No one was a better judge of wine — no one had 
a better taste for fruit — no one danced with 



18 THE VOYAGE OF 

more elegant vivacity — and no one whispered 
compliments in a more meaning tone. His 
stories ever had a point — his repartees were 
never ill-natured. What a pity that such an 
amiable fellow should have got into such a 
scrape ! 

In spite of his grief, however, Popanilla soon 
found that the ardency of his passion rather 
evaporated under a smoking sun ; and utterly 
exhausted, he was about to return home from 
his fruitless search, when his attention was at- 
tracted by a singular appearance. He observed 
before him, on the shore, a square, and hitherto 
unseen form. He watched it for some minutes, 
but it was perfectly motionless. He drew 
nearer, and observed it with intense attention ; 
but if it were a being, it certainly was fast 
asleep. He approached close to its side, but it 
neither moved nor breathed. He applied his 
nose to the mysterious body, and the elegant 
Fantaisian drew back immediately from a most 
villainous smell of pitch. Not to excite too 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 19 

much, in this calm age, the reader's curiosity, 
let him know at once, that this strange sub- 
stance was a sea-chest. Upon it was marked, 
in large black letters, S. D. K. No. 1. 

For the first time in his life, Popanilla ex- 
perienced a feeling of overwhelming curiosity. 
His fatigue, his loss, the scorching hour, and 
the possible danger, were all forgotten, in an in- 
definite feeling that the body possessed con- 
tents more interesting than its unpromising ex- 
terior, and in a resolute determination that the 
development of the mystery should be reserved 
only for himself. 

Although he felt assured that he must be 
unseen, he could not refrain from throwing a 
rapid glance of anxiety around him. It was 
a moment of perfect stillness : the Island slept 
in sunshine, and even the waves had ceased to 
break over the opposing rocks. A thousand 
strange and singular thoughts rushed into his 
mind, but his first purpose was ever upper- 
most; and at length, unfolding his girdle of 



20 THE VOYAGE OF 

skin, he tied the tough cincture round the 
chest, and exerting all liis powers, dragged his 
mysterious waif into the nearest wood. 

We should pursue an inquiry of great in- 
terest, if we were here to pause, and attempt to 
ascertain what would have been the probable 
conduct of Popanilla, and the moral effects 
upon the social action of the Island of Fan- 
taisie, if the top of the sea-chest had not fallen 
off by the agency of its own volition ; but as 
I am confidentially apprised that this inquiry 
will form the subject of discussion at the next 
meeting of the Union Debating Society, it 
would be scarcely fair to anticipate th« infer- 
ences of that ingenious body of ingenuous 
youth. The top, however, did fall off; and 
really revealed the neatest collection of little 
packages that ever pleased the eye of the ad- 
mirer of spruce arrangement. Popanilla took 
up packets upon all possible subjects; smelt 
them, but they were not savory ; he was 
sorely puzzled. At last, he lighted on a slen- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 21 

der volume bound in brown calf, which, with 
the confined but sensual notions of a savage, 
he mistook for gingerbread, at least. It was 
" The Universal Linguist, by Mr. Hamilton, 
or the Art of Dreaming in Languages." Il- 
lustrious Hamilton ! hadst thou been the Clerk 
of the Works during the blasphemy of Belus, 
Babel might have been built ! 

No sooner had Popanilla passed that well- 
formed nose, which had been so often admired 
by the lady whose lock of hair he had unfor- 
tunately lost, a few times over a few pages 
of the Hamiltonian System, than he sunk 
upon his bed of flowers ; and in spite of his 
curiosity, was instantly overcome by a profound 
slumber. But his slumber, though deep, was 
not peaceful, and he was the actor in an agi- 
tating drama. 

He found himself alone in a gay and glori- 
ous garden. In the centre of it grew a pome- 
granate tree of prodigious size ; its top was 
lost in the sky, and its innumerable branches 



22 THE VOYAGE OF 

sprang out in all directions, covered with large 
fruit of a rich golden hue. The most beauti- 
ful birds were perched upon all parts of the 
tree, and chanted with perpetual melody the 
beauties of their bower. Tempted by the de- 
licious sight, Popanilla stretched forward his 
ready hand to pluck ; but no sooner had he 
grasped the fruit, than the music immediately 
ceased — the birds rushed away — the sky dark- 
ened — the tree fell under the wind — the garden 
vanished, and Popanilla found himself in the 
midst of a raging sea, buffeting the waves. 

He would certainly have been drowned, had 
he not been immediately swallowed up by the 
huge monster, which had not only been the oc- 
casion of the storm of yesterday, but, — ah ! 
most unhappy business ! — been the occasion also 
of his losing that lock of hair. 

Ere he could congratulate himself on his 
escape, he found fresh cause for anxiety, for 
he perceived that he was no longer alone. No 
friends were near him ; but, on the contrary, he 



CAPIAIN POPANILLA. 23 

was surrounded by strangers of a far different 
aspect. They were men certainly — that is to 
say, they had legs and arms, and heads, and 
bodies as himself — but instead of that bloom 
of youth, that regularity of feature, that amia- 
ble joyousness of countenance, which he had 
ever been accustomed to meet and to love in his 
former companions, he recoiled in horror from 
the swarthy complexions, the sad visages, and 
the haggard features of his present ones. They 
spoke to him in a harsh and guttural accent. 
He would have fled from their advances, but 
then, — he was in the belly of a whale ! No 
escape ! It was like meeting a creditor in a 
cul-de-sac, and he was obliged to speak. When 
he had become a little used to their tones, he 
was gratified by finding that their attentions 
were far from hostile ; and after having re- 
ceived from them a few compliments, he began 
to think that they were not quite so ugly. He 
discovered that the object of their inquiries 
was the fatal pomegranate which still remained 



24 THE VOYAGE OF 

in his hand. They admired its beauty, and 
told him that they greatly esteemed an indivi- 
dual who possessed such a mass of precious 
ore. Popanilla begged to undeceive them, and 
courteously presented the fruit. No sooner, 
however, had he parted with this apple of 
discord, than the countenances of his compani- 
ons changed. Immediately discovering its real 
nature, they loudly accused Popanilla of having 
deceived them ; he remonstrated, and they re- 
criminated ; and the great fish, irritated by their 
clamour, lashed its huge tail, and with one 
efficacious vomit, spouted the innocent Popa- 
nilla high in the air. He fell with such a dash 
into the waves, that he was awakened by the 
sound of his own fall. 

The dreamer awoke amidst real chattering, 
and scuffling, and clamour. A troop of green 
monkeys had been aroused by his unusual oc- 
cupation, and had taken the opportunity of 
his slumber to become acquainted with some of 
the first principles of science. What progress 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 25 

they had made it is difficult to ascertain ; be- 
cause, each one throwing a tract at Popanilla's 
head, they immediately disappeared. It is said, 
however, that some monkeys have been since 
seen skipping about the Island, with their tails 
cut off; and that they have even succeeded 
in passing themselves off for human beings 
among those people who do not read novels, 
and are consequently unacquainted with man- 
kind. 

The morning's adventure immediately rushed 
into Popanilla's mind, and he proceeded forth- 
with to examine the contents of his chest ; but 
with advantages which had not been yet en- 
joyed by those who had previously peeped 
into it. The monkeys had not been composed 
to sleep by the •'Universal Linguist" of Mr. 
Hamilton. As for Popanilla, he took up a trea- 
tise on hydrostatics, and read it straight through 
on the spot. For the rest of the day he was 
hydrostatically mad ; nor could the commonest 
incident connected with the action or convey- 
c 



26 THE VOYAGE OF 

ance of water take place, without his speculat- 
ing on its cause and consequence. 

So enraptured was Popanilla with his new 
accomplishments and acquirements, that by de- 
grees he avoided attendance on the usual even- 
ing assemblages, and devoted himself solely to 
the acquirement of useful knowledge. After 
a short time his absence was remarked ; but the 
greatest and the most gifted has only to leave 
his coterie, called the world, for a few days, to 
be fully convinced of what very slight import- 
ance he really is. And so Popanilla, the de- 
light of society, and the especial favourite of 
the women, was, in a very short time, not even 
inquired after. At first, of course, they sup- 
posed that he was in love, or that he had a 
slight cold, or that he was writing his me- 
moirs;* and as these suppositions, in due course, 

* The only argument against this supposition was the 
fact of Popanilla not being a very obscure personage. 
It is said that the '' Life and Times of the Green Mon- 
key who cut off his tail," will speedily appear. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 27 

take their place in the annals of society as cir- 
cumstantial histories, in about a week, one 
knew the lady, another had heard him sneeze, 
and a third had seen the manuscript. At the end 
of another week, Popanilla was utterly forgotten 



c % 



28 THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER IV. 

Six months had elapsed since the first chest 
of the cargo of Useful Knowledge, destined 
for the fortunate Maldives, had been digested 
by the recluse Popanilla; for a recluse he 
had now become. Great students are rather 
dull companions. Our Fantaisian friend, du- 
ring his first studies, was as moody, absent, 
and querulous, as are most men of genius 
during that mystical period of life. He was 
consequently avoided by the men, and quizzed 
by the women; and consoled himself for the 
neglect of the first, and the taunts of the se- 
cond, by the indefinite sensation, that he should, 
some day or other, turn out that little being, 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 29 

called a great man. As for his mistress, she 
considered herself insulted by being addressed 
by a man who had lost her lock of hair. When 
the chest was exhausted, Popanilla was seized 
with a profound melancholy. Nothing de- 
presses a man's spirits more completely than 
a self-conviction of self-conceit ; and Popa- 
nilla, who had been accustomed to consider 
himself and his companions as the most ele- 
gant portion of the visible creation, now dis- 
covered, with dismay, that he and his fellow 
Islanders were nothing more than a horde of 
useless savages* 

This mortification, however, was soon suc- 
ceeded by a proud consciousness, that he, at 
any rate, was now civilized ; and that proud 
consciousness, by a fond hope, that in a short 
time he might become a civilizer. Like all 
projectors, he was not of a sanguine tempera- 
ment ; but he did trust, that in the course 
of another season, the Isle of Fantaisie might 
take its station among the nations. He was 



30 THE VOYAGE OF 

determined, however, not to be too rapid. It 
cannot be expected that' ancient prejudices can, 
in a moment, be eradicated, and new modes 
of conduct instantaneously substituted and es- 
tablished. Popanilla, like a wise man, deter- 
mined to conciliate. His views were to be as 
liberal, as his principles were enlightened. 
Men should be forced to do nothing. Bi- 
gotry, and intolerance, and persecution, were 
the objects of his most decided disapprobation ; 
resembling, in this particular, all the great 
and good men who have ever existed ; who 
have invariably maintained this opinion, as 
long as they have been in the minority. 

Popanilla appeared once more in the world. 

" Dear me ! is that you, Pop .?" exclaimed 
the ladies. " What have you been doing with 
yourself all this time ? Travelling, I suppose. 
Every one travels now. Really you travelled 
men get quite bores. And where did you get 
that coat — if it be a coat P"" 

Such was the style in which the Fantaisian 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 31 

females saluted the long absent Popanilla : 
and really, when a man shuts himself up from 
the world for a considerable time, and fancies 
that in condescending to re-enter it, he has 
surely the right to expect the homage due to 
a superior being — if not a coronation, at least 
a compliment — why these salutations are to 
characterise them as gently as possible, auk- 
ward. The ladies of England have been long 
libelled as " gauches" yet they peculiarly excel 
in this species of annihilation ; and while they 
continue to drown puppies, as they daily do, 
in a sea of sarcasm, I think no true English- 
man will hesitate one moment in giving them 
the preference for tact and manner, over all 
the vivacious French, all the self-possessing 
Italian, and all the tolerant German women. 
This is a clap-trap, and I have no doubt will 
sell the book. 

Popanilla, however, had not re-entered so- 
ciety with the intention of subsiding into a 
nonentity; and he therefore took the opportu- 



32 THE VOYAGE OF 

nity, a few minutes after sunset, just as his com- 
panions were falling into the dance, to beg the 
favour of being allowed to address his Sovereign 
— only for one single moment. 

" Sire !"" said he, in that mild tone of sub- 
dued superciliousness with which we should 
always address kings, and which, while it vin- 
dicates our dignity, so satisfactorily proves that 
we are above the vulgar passion of envy — 
" Sire !" — but let us not encourage that fatal 
faculty of oratory so dangerous to free states, 
and therefore let us give only the " substance of 
Popanilla's speech."* He commenced his ad- 
dress in a manner somewhat resembling the 
initial observations of those pleasing pamphlets, 
which are the fashion of the present hour ; and 
which, being intended to diffuse information 
among those who have not enjoyed the op- 

* Substance of a speech, in Parliamentary language, 
means a printed edition of an harangue which contains 
all that was uttered in the House, and about as much 
again. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 33 

portunity and advantages of study, and are 
consequently of a gay and cheerful disposition, 
treat of light subjects in a light and polished 
style. Popanilla, therefore, spoke of man in a 
savage state, tlie origin of society, and the 
elements of the social compact, in sentences 
which would not have disgraced the mellifluous 
pen of Bentham. From these, he naturally di- 
gressed into an agreeable disquisition on the 
Anglo-Saxons ; and after a little badinage on 
the Bill of Bights, flew off* to an airy aper^u of 
the French Revolution. When he had arrived 
at the Isle of Fantaisie, he begged to inform his 
Majesty, that man was born for something else 
besides enjoying himself. It was, doubtless, 
extremely pleasant to dance and sing, to crown 
themselves with chaplets, and to drink wine ; 
but he was " free to confess,*"* that he did not 
imagine, that the most barefaced hireling of cor- 

* This is a literal translation of the original, and 1 
own not English. It is evidently an idiom of the Island — 
a pure Fantastic phrase. 

C 5 



34 THE VOYAGE OF 

ruption could for a moment presume to main- 
tain that there was any utility in pleasure. If 
there were no utility in pleasure, it was quite 
clear that pleasure could profit no one. If, 
therefore, it were unprofitable, it was injurious ; 
because that which does not produce a profit, is 
equivalent to a loss — therefore, pleasure is a 
losing business; consequently, pleasure is not 
pleasant. 

He also showed that man was not born for 
himself, but for society ; that the interests of 
the body are alone to be considered, and not 
those of the individual ; and that a nation 
might be extremely happy, extremely powerful, 
and extremely rich, although every individual 
member of it might at the same time be miser- 
able, dependent, and in debt. He regretted 
to observe, that no one in the Island seemed in 
the slightest degree conscious of the object of 
his being. Man is created for a purpose ; the 
object of his existence is to perfect himself. 
Man is imperfect by nature, because if nature 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 35 

had made him perfect he would have had no 
wants ; and it is only by supplying his wants, 
that utility can be developed. The develope- 
ment of utility is therefore the object of our 
being, and the attainment of this great end the 
cause of our existence. This principle clears 
all doubts, and rationally accounts for a state 
of existence which has puzzled many pseudo 
philosophers. 

Popanilla then went on to show that the 
hitherto received definitions of man were all 
erroneous ; that man is neither a walking ani- 
mal, nor a talking animal, nor a cooking animal, 
nor a lounging animal, nor a debt-incurring 
animal, nor a tax-paying animal, nor a printing 
animal, nor a puffing animal, but a developing 
animal. Developement is the discovery of 
utility. By developing the water, we get fish ; 
by developing the earth, we get corn, and cash, 
and cotton; by developing the air, we get 
breath ; by developing the fire, we get heat. 
Thus, the use of the elements is demonstrated 



36 THE VOYAGE OF 

to the meanest capacity. But it was not merely 
a material developement to which he alluded — 
a moral developement was equally indispensable. 
He showed that it was impossible for a nation 
either to think too much, or to do too much. 
The life of man was therefore to be passed 
in a moral and material developement, until 
he had consummated his perfection. It was 
the opinion of Popanilla that this great result 
was by no means so near at hand as some phi- 
losophers flattered themselves ; and that it might 
possibly require another half-century before 
even the most civilized nation could be said to 
have completed the destiny of the human race. 
At the same time, he intimated that there 
were various extraordinary means by which 
this rather desirable result might be facilitated ; 
and there was no saying what the building of a 
new University might do, of which, when built, 
he had no objection to be appointed Principal. 

In answer to those who affect to admire that 
deficient system of existence which they style 



CAPTAIN POPANTLLA. 37 

simplicity of manners, and who are perpetually 
committing the blunder of supposing that every 
advance towards perfection only withdraws man 
farther from his primitive and proper condi- 
tion, Popanilla triumphantly demonstrated, that 
no such order as that which they associated 
with the phrase, " state of nature," ever ex- 
isted. " Man," said he, " is called the master- 
piece of nature ; and man is also, as we all 
know, the most curious of machines : now, a 
machine is a work of art, consequently, the 
masterpiece of nature is the masterpiece of 
art. The object of all mechanism is the at- 
tainment of utility ; the object of man, who is 
the most perfect machine, is utility in the 
highest degree. Can we believe, therefore, that 
this machine was ever intended for a state which 
never could have called forth its powers — a 
state in which no utility could ever have been at- 
tained — a state in which there are no wants ; con- 
sequently, no demand ; consequently, no supply ; 
consequently, no competition ; consequently, no 



38 THE VOYAGE OF 

invention ; consequently, no profits ; only one 
great pernicious monopoly of comfort and ease. 
Society without wants, is like a world without 
winds. It is quite clear, therefore, that there 
is no such thing as Nature ; Nature is Art, or 
Art is Nature ; that which is most useful is most 
natural, because utility is the test of nature ; 
therefore, a steam-engine is in fact a much 
more natural production than a mountain.* 

" You are convinced therefore," he continued, 
" by these observations, that it is impossible 
for an individual or a nation to be too artificial 
in their manners, their ideas, their laws, or 
their general policy ; because, in fact, the more 

* The age seems as anti-mountainous as it is anti- 
monarchical. A late writer insinuates that if the English 
had spent their millions in levelling the Andes, instead 
of excavating the table-lands, society might have been 
benefited. These monstrosities are decidedly useless, 
and therefore can neither be sublime nor beautiful, as 
has been unanswerably demonstrated by another recent 
writer on political aesthetics. — See also a personal at- 
tack on Mont Blanc, in the 2nd No. of the Foreign 
Quarterly Review. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. S9 

artificial you become, the nearer you approach 
that state of nature of which you are so per- 
petually talking." — Here observing that some 
of his audience appeared to be a little scep- 
tical — perhaps only surprised — he told them 
that what he said must be true, because it 
entirely consisted of first principles."* 

After having thus preliminarily descanted 
for about two hours, Popanilla informed his 
Majesty that he was unused to public speaking, 
and then proceeded to show, that the grand 
characteristic of the social action-f- of the Isle 
of Fantaisie was a total want of developement. 

* First principles are the ingredients of positive 
truth. They are immutable, as may be seen by com- 
paring the first principles of the eighteenth century with 
the first principles of the nineteenth. 

t This simple and definite phrase we derive from the 
nation to whom we were indebted during the last cen- 
tury for some other phrases about as definite, but rather 
more dangerous. We ought not to be surprised, that 
they who once clothed a courtezan in the robe of a 
goddess, should speak of the commonest incidents of 
life in the language of Oracles. 



40 THE VOYAGE OF 

This he observed with equal sorrow and sur- 
prise ; he respected the wisdom of their ances- 
tors, at the same time no one could deny that 
they were both barbarous and ignorant ; he 
highly esteemed also the constitution, but re- 
gretted that it was not in the slightest degree 
adapted to the existing wants of society : he 
was not for destroying any establishmcius, ])ut, 
on the contrary, was for courteously affording 
them the opportunity of self-dissolution. He 
finished, by re- urging, in very strong terms, 
the immediate developement of the Island. In 
the first place, a very great metropolis must 
be instantly built, because a very great me- 
tropolis always produces a very great demand ; 
and moreover, Popanilla had some legal doubts, 
whether a country without a capital could in 
fact be considered a State. Apologizing for 
having so long trespassed upon the attention 
of the assembly, he begged distinctly to state,* 

* Another phrase of Parliament, whicb^ I need not 
observe, is always made use of in oratory^ whe n th 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 41 

that he had no wish to see his Majesty and 
his fellow-subjects adopt these new principles 
without examination, and without experience. 
They might commence on a small scale ; let 
them cut down their forests, and by turning 
them into ships and houses, discover the utiHty 
of timber : let the whole Island be dug up ; 
let canals be cut, docks be built, and all the 
elephants be killed directly, that their teeth 
might yield an immediate article for exporta- 
tion. A very short time would afford a suffi- 
cient trial. In the mean while, they would not 
be pledged to further measures, and these might 
be considered " only as an experiment."* Tak- 
ing for granted, that these principles would be 
acted on, and taking into consideration the site 
of the Island in the map of the world, the nature 
and extent of its resources, its magnificent race 

orator can see his meaning about as distinctly as San- 
cho perceived the charms of Dulcinea. 

* A very famous and convenient phrase this — but in 
politics, experiments mean revolutions. 



42 THE VOYAGE OF 

of human beings, its varieties of the animal 
creation, its wonderfully fine timber, its un- 
developed mineral treasures, the spaciousness 
of its harbours, and its various facilities for 
extended international communication, Popa- 
nilla had no hesitation in saying, that a short 
time could not elapse, ere, instead of passing 
their lives in a state of unprofitable ease, and 
useless enjoyment, they might reasonably ex- 
pect to be the terror and astonishment of the 
universe ; and to be able to annoy every nation 
of any consequence. 

Here, observing a smile upon his Majesty ""s 
countenance, Popanilla told the King that he 
was only a chief magistrate, and he had no more 
right to laugh at him than a constable. He con- 
cluded by observing, that although what he at 
present urged might appear very strange, never- 
theless, if the listeners had been acquainted with 
the characters and cases of Galileo and Tur- 
got, they would then have seen, as a neces- 
sary consequence, that his system was perfectly 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 43 

correct ; and he, himself, a man of extraordi- 
nary merit. 

Here the chief magistrate, no longer daring 
to smile, burst into a fit of laughter ; and turn- 
ing to his courtiers said, " I have not an idea 
what this man is talking about, but I know 
that he makes my head ache : give me a cup of 
wine, and let us have a dance." 

All applauded the royal proposition ; and 
pushing Popanilla from one to another, until 
he was fairly hustled to the very brink of the 
lagoon, they soon forgot the existence of this 
bore : in one word, he was cut. When Popanilla 
found himself standing alone, and looking very 
grave, while all the rest were very gay, he 
began to suspect that he was not so very influ- 
ential a personage as he previously imagined. 
Rather crest-fallen, he sneaked home ; and con- 
soled himself for having nobody to speak to, 
by reading some very amusing " Conversations 
on Political Economy." 



44! THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER V. 

PoPANiLLA was discomposed, but he was not 
discomfited. He consoled himself for the Royal 
neglect, by tlie recollection of the many illus- 
trious men who had been despised, banished, 
imprisoned, and burnt, for the maintenance of 
opinions, which, centuries afterwards, had been 
discovered to be truth. He did not forget that 
in still further centuries, the lately recognised 
truth had been re-discovered to be falsehood ; 
but then these men were not less illustrious ; and 
what wonder that their opinions were really er- 
roneous, since they were not his present ones ? 
The reasoning was equally conclusive and con- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 45 

solatory. Popanilla, therefore, was not dis- 
couraged ; and although he deemed it more 
prudent not to go out of his way to seek another 
audience of his sovereign, or to be too anxious 
again to address a public meeting, he neverthe- 
less determined to proceed cautiously, but con- 
stantly, propagating his doctrines, and prose- 
lytizing in private. 

Unfortunately for Popanilla, He did not en- 
joy one advantage, which all founders of sects 
have duly appreciated, and by which they have 
been materially assisted. It is a great and 
unanswerable argument in favour of a Provi- 
dence, that we constantly perceive that the 
most beneficial results are brought about by 
the least worthy, and most insignificant agents. 
The purest religions would never have been 
established, had they not been supported by 
sinners, who felt the burthen of the old faith ; 
and the most free and enlightened governments 
are often generated by the discontented, the 



46 



THE VOYAGE OF 



disappointed, and the dissolute. Now, in the 
Isle of Fantaisie, unfortunately for our revo- 
lutionizer, there was not a single grumbler. 

Unable, therefore, to make the bad passions 
of his fellow-creatures the unconscious instru- 
ments of his good purposes, Popanilla must 
have been contented to have monopolized all 
the wisdom of the moderns, had he not, with 
the unbaffled wit of an inventor, hit upon a 
new expedient. Like Socrates, our philoso- 
pher began to cultivate with sedulousness, the 
society of youth. 

In a short time, the ladies of Fantaisie were 
forced to observe, that the fair sex most un- 
fashionably predominated in their evening as- 
semblages; for the young gentlemen of the 
Island had suddenly ceased to pay their grace- 
ful homage at the altar of Terpsichore. In 
an Indian isle, not to dance, was as bad as 
heresy. The ladies rallied the recreants, but 
their playful sarcasms failed of their wonted 
effect. In the natural course of things, they 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 47 

had recourse to remonstrances, but their ap- 
peals were equally fruitless. The delicate crea- 
tures tried reproaches, but the boyish cynics 
received them with a scowl, and answered them 
with a sneer. 

The women fled in indignation to their 
friendly monarch ; but the voluptuary of na- 
ture only shrugged his shoulders, and smiled. 
He kissed away their tears, and their frowns 
vanished as he crowned their long hair with 
roses. 

" If the lads really show such bad taste," 
said his Majesty, " why I and my Lords 
must do double duty — and dance with a couple 
of you at once.*" Consoled and compHmented, 
and crowned by a King, who could look sad ? 
The women forgot their anger in their increas- 
ing loyalty. 

But the pupils of Popanilla had no sooner 
mastered the first principles of science, than 
they began to throw off their retired habits, 
and uncommunicative manners. Being not ut- 



48 THE VOYAGE OF 

terly ignorant of some of the rudiments of 
knowledge, and consequently having completed 
their education, it was now their duty, as mem- 
bers of society, to instruct and not to study. 
They therefore courted, instead of shunning, 
their fellow-creatures ; and on all occasions seiz- 
ed all opportunities of assisting the spread of 
knowledge. The voices of boys lecturing upon 
every lecturable topic, resounded in every part 
of the Island. Their tones v/ere so shrill, their 
manners so presuming, their knowledge so 
crude, and their general demeanour so com- 
pletely unamiable, that it was impossible to 
hear them without the greatest delight, advan- 
tage, and admiration. 

The women were not now the only sufferers 
and the only complainants. Dinned to death, 
the men looked gloomy ; and even the King, for 
the first time in his life, looked grave. Could 
this Babel, he thought, be that empire of bliss, 
that delightful Fantaisie; where, to be ruler, 
only proved, that you were the most skilful in 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 49 

making others happy ! His brow ached under 
his light flowery crown, as if it were bound by 
the barbarous circle of a tyrant, heavy with 
gems and gold. In his despair, he had some 
thoughts of leaving his kingdom, and betaking 
himself to the mermaids. 

The determination of the most precious por- 
tion of his subjects saved his empire. As the 
disciples of the new school were daily demand- 
ing, '• What is the use of dancing ? — what is the 
use of drinking wine ? — what is the use of smell- 
ing flowers ?'"* — the women, like prescient politi- 
cians, began to entertain a nervous suspicion, 
that in time, these sages might even presume to 
question the utility of that homage which, in 
spite of the Grecian Philosophers and the British 
Essayists, we have been in the habit of conced- 
ing to them ever since Eden ; and they rushed 
again to the King, like frightened deer. Some- 
thing now was to be done ; and the monarch, 
with an expression of countenance which almost 
amounted to energy,* whispered consolation. 

D 



50 THE VOYAGE OF 

The King sent for Popanilla; the message 
produced a great sensation ; the enlightened 
introducer of the new principles had not been 
at Court since he was cut. No doubt his Ma- 
jesty was at last impregnated with the liberal 
spirit of the age ; and Popanilla was assuredly 
to be premier. In fact, it must be so — he was 
" sent for — " there was no precedent in Fan- 
taisie, though there might be in other islands, 
for a person being " sent for," and not being 
premier. His disciples were in the highest 
spirits ; the world was now to be regulated 
upon right principles, and they were to be in- 
stalled into their right places. 

" Illustrious Popanilla !" said the King, 
" you once did me the honour of making 
me a speech ; which, unfortunately for myself, 
I candidly confess, I was then utterly incapable 
of understanding — no wonder, as it was the first 
I ever heard : I shall not, however, easily for- 
get the effect which it produced upon me. I 
have since considered it my duty, as a monarch, 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 51 

to pay the most particular attention to your 
suggestions. I now understand them with suf- 
ficient clearness to be fully convinced of their 
excellence, and in future I intend to act upon 
them, without any exception or deviation. To 
prove my sincerity, I have determined to com- 
mence the new system at once ; and as I think 
that, without some extension of our interna- 
tional relations, the commercial interest of this 
Island will be utterly incapable of furnishing the 
taxes which I intend to levy, I have determined, 
therefore, to fit out an expedition for the pur- 
pose of discovering new islands, and forming 
relations with new islanders. It is but due to 
your merit that you should be appointed to the 
command of it ; and further to testify my in- 
finite esteem for your character, and my com- 
plete confidence in your abilities, I make you 
post- captain on the spot. As the axiom of 
your school seems to be, that every thing can 
be made perfect at once, without time, without 
experience, without practice, and without pre- 
D 2 



52 THE VOYAGE OF 

paration, I have no doubt, with the aid of a 
treatise or two, you will make a consummate 
naval commander, although you have never 
been at sea in the whole course of your life — 
Farewell, Captain Popanilla !" 

No sooner was this adieu uttered, than four 
brawny lords of the bed-chamber seized the 
Turgot of Fantaisie by the shoulders, and car- 
ried him with inconceivable rapidity to the 
shore. His pupils, who would have fled to his 
rescue, were stifled with the embraces of their 
former partners ; and their utilitarianism dis- 
solved in the arms of those they once so rudely 
rejected. As for their tutor, he was thrust 
into one of the canoes, with some fresh water, 
bread fruit, dried fish, and a basket of alligator- 
pears. A band of mermaids carried the canoe, 
with exquisite management, through the shal- 
lows, and over the breakers; and poor Po- 
panilla, in a few minutes, found himself out at 
sea. Tremendously frightened, he offered to 
recant all his opinions, and denounce, as traitors. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 5S 

any individuals whom the court might select. 
But his former companions did not exactly 
detect the utility of his return. His offers, his 
supplications, were equally fruitless ; and the 
only answer which floated to him on the wind, 
was, '' Farewell, Captain Popanilla !" 



54 THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER VI. 

Night fell upon the waters, dark and drear, 
and thick and misty. How unlike those bril- 
liant hours that once summoned him to revelry 
and love ! Unhappy Popanilla ! Thy delicious 
Fantaisie has vanished ! Ah, pitiable youth ! 
What could possibly have induced you to be 
so very rash ? And all from that unlucky lock 
of hair ! 

After a few natural paroxysms of rage, 
terror, anguivsh, and remorse, the captain as 
naturally subsided into despair ; and awaited 
with sullen apathy that fate which could not 
be far distant. The only thing which puzzled 
the philosophical navigator, was his inability to 
detect what useful end could be attained by his 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 55 

death. At length, remembering that fish must 
be fed, his theory and his desperation were at 
the same time confirmed. 

A clear dry morning succeeded the wet gloomy 
night; and Popanilla had not yet gone down. 
This extraordinary suspension of his fate 
roused him from his stupor, and between the 
consequent excitement and the morning air, he 
acquired an appetite. Philosophical physicians 
appear to have agreed that sorrow, to a certain 
extent, is not unfavourable to digestion ; and as 
Popanilla began to entertain some indefinite 
and unreasonable hopes, the alligator-pears 
quickly disappeared. In the mean time the 
little canoe cut her way, as if she were chacing 
a smuggler ; and had it not been for a shark or 
two, who, in anticipation of their services being 
required, never left her side for a second, 
Popanilla really might have made some very 
ingenious observations on the nature of tides. 
He was rather surprised certainly, as he watch- 
ed his frail bark cresting the waves; but he 
soon supposed that this was all in the natural 



56 THE VOYAGE OF 

course of things; and he now ascribed his 
previous fright, not to the peril of his situation, 
but to his inexperience of it. Poor fellow ! how 
could he know better ? He certainly had en- 
joyed a seat at the Admiralty Board of Fan- 
taisie, but then he was a lay-lord. 

Although his apprehension of being drowned 
was now removed, yet when he gazed on the 
boundless vacancy before him, and also observed 
that his provisions rapidly decreased, he began 
to fear that he was destined for a still more 
horrible fate, and that after having eaten his 
own shoes, he must submit to be starved. In 
this state of despondency, with infinite delight 
and exultation, he clearly observed, on the 
second day, at twenty-seven minutes past three, 
p. M., though at a considerable distance, a 
mountain and an island. His joy and his pride 
were equal, and excessive : he called the first. 
Alligator Mountain, in gratitude to the pears ; 
and christened the second after his mistress — 
that unlucky mistress ! The swift canoe soon 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 57 

reached the discoveries, and the happy dis- 
coverer further found, to his utter mortification, 
that the mountain was a mist, and the island a 
sea-weed. Popanilla now grew sulky, and 
threw himself down in the bottom of his boat. 

On the third morning, he was awakened by 
a tremendous roar ; on looking around him, he 
perceived that he was in a valley formed by 
two waves, each about three thousand feet 
high. This seemed the crisis of his fate ; he 
shut his eyes, as people do when they are 
touched by a dentist, and in a few minutes was 
still bounding on the ocean in the eternal ca- 
noe, safe but senseless. Some tremendous peals 
of thunder, a roaring wind, and a scathing 
lightning, confirmed his indisposition ; and had 
not the tempest subsided, Popanilla would pro- 
bably have been an idiot for life. The dead 
and soothing calm which succeeded this tor- 
nado, called him back again gradually to ex- 
istence. He opened his eyes, and scarcely 
daring to try a sense, immediately shut them ; 
D 5 



5S 



THE VOYAGE OF 



then heaving a deep sigh, he shrugged his 
shoulders, and looked as pitiable as a prime 
minister with a naughty cabinet. At length 
he ventured to lift up his head ; there was 
not a wrinkle on the face of ocean ; a halcyon 
fluttered over him, and then scudded before 
his canoe, and gamesome porpoises were tum- 
bling at his side. The sky was cloudless, ex- 
cept in the direction to which he was driving ; 
but even as Popanilla observed, with some mis- 
givings, the mass of vapours which had there 
congregated, the great square and solid black 
clouds drew off like curtains, and revealed to 
his entranced vision a magnificent city rising 
out of the sea. 

Tower, and dome, and arch, column, and 
spire, and obelisk, and lofty terraces, and many- 
windowed palaces, rose in all directions from a 
mass of building which appeared to him each 
instant to grow more huge, till at length it 
seemed to occupy the whole horizon. The sun 
lent additional lustre to the dazzling quays of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 59 

white marble, which apparently surrounded 
this mighty city, and which rose immediately 
from the dark blue waters. As the navigator 
drew nearer, he observed that in most parts 
the quays were crowded with beings, who he 
trusted were human, and already the hum of 
multitudes broke upon his inexperienced ear ; 
to him a sound far more mysterious and far 
more exciting than the most poetical of winds 
to the most windy of poets. On the right of 
this vast city rose what was mistaken by Po- 
panilla for an immense but leafless forest ; but 
more practical men than the Fantaisian captain 
have been equally confounded by the first sight 
of a million of masts. 

The canoe cut its way with increased rapid- 
ity ; and ere Popanilla had recovered himself 
sufficiently ta make even an ejaculation, he 
found himself at the side of a quay. Some 
amphibious creatures, whom he supposed to be 
meniien, immediately came to his assistance, 
rather stared at his serpent-skin coat, and then 



60 THE VOYAGE OF 

helped him up the steps. Popiinilla was in- 
stantly surrounded by an immense crowd. 

" Who are you .P" said one. 

" What are you .?" asked another. 

" Wiio is it ?^'' exclaimed a third. 

" What is it ?''"' screamed a fourth. 

" My friends, I am a man !" 

" A man !" said the women ; " are you sure 
you are a real man .?" 

" He must be a sea-god !" said the females. 

" She must be a sea-goddess," said the males. 

" A Triton !" maintained the women. 

'' A Nereid !" argued the men. 

" It is a great fish !" said the boys. 

Thanks to the Universal Linguist, Captain 
Popanilla, under these peculiar circumstances, 
was more loquacious than could have been 
Captain Parry. 

" Good people ! you see before you the most 
injured of human beings.*" 

This announcement instantly inspired general 
enthusiasm. The women wept, the men shook 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 61 

hands with him, and all the boys huzzaed. Po- 
panilla proceeded : — 

'* Actuated by the most pure, the most pa- 
triotic, the most noble, the most enlightened, 
and the most useful sentiments, I aspired to 
ameliorate the condition of my fellow men. 
To this grand object I have sacrificed all that 
makes life delightful : I have lost my station 
in society, my taste for dancing, my popularity 
with the men, my favour with the women ; and 
last, but, oh ! not least, (excuse this emotion,) 
I have lost a very particular lock of hair. In 
one word, my friends, you see before you — ban- 
ished, ruined, and unhappy — the victim of a 
despotic sovereign, a corrupt aristocracy, and a 
misguided people." 

No sooner had he ceased speaking, than Po- 
panilla really imagined that he had only es- 
caped the dangers of sedition and the sea, to 
expire by less hostile, though not less effective 
means. To be strangled was not much better 
than to be starved : and certainly with half a do- 



62 THE VOYAGE OF 

zen highly respectable females clinging round his 
neck, he was not reminded, for the first time in 
his life, what a domestic bow-string is an affec- 
tionate woman. In an agony of suffocation he 
thought very little of his arms, although the 
admiration of the men had already, in his ima- 
gination, separated those useful members from 
his miserable body ; and had it not been for 
some justifiable kicking and plunging, the ve- 
neration of the ingenuous and surrounding 
youth, which manifested itself by their active 
exertions to divide his singular garment into 
relics of a martyr of liberty, would soon have 
effectually prevented the ill-starred Popanilla 
from being again mistaken for a Nereid. Order 
was at length restored, and a committee of 
eight appointed to regulate the visits of the in- 
creasing mob. 

The arrangements were most judicious; the 
whole populace was marshalled into ranks; 
classes of twelve persons were allowed conse- 
cutively to walk past the victim of tyranny, 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 63 

corruption, and ignorance ; and each person 
had the honour to touch his finger. During 
this proceeding, which lasted a few hours, an in- 
fluential personage generously offered to receive 
the eager subscriptions of the assembled thou- 
sands. Even the boys subscribed, and ere six 
hours had passed since his arrival as a coatless 
vagabond in this liberal city, Captain Popanilla 
found himself a person of considerable income. 

The receiver of the subscriptions, while he 
crammed Popanilla''s serpent-skin pockets full 
of gold pieces, at the same time kindly offered 
the stranger to introduce him to an hotel. Po- 
panilla, who was quite beside himself, could 
only bow his assent, and mechanically accom- 
panied his conductor. When he had regained 
his faculty of speech, he endeavoured, in wan- 
dering sentences of grateful incoherency, to 
express his deep sense of this unparalleled libe- 
rality. *^ It was an excess of generosity, in 
which mankind could never have before in- 
dulged !" 



64 THE VOYAGE OF 

" By no means !" said his companion with 
great coolness; "far from this being an un- 
paralleled affair, I assure you it is a matter of 
hourly occurrence : make your mind quite 
easy. You are probably not aware that you 
are now living in the richest and the most cha- 
ritable country in the world !" 

" Wonderful !" said Popanilla ; " and what 
is the name, may I ask, of this charitable 
city ?" 

" Is it possible," said his companion, with a 
faint smile, " that you are ignorant of the 
great city of Hubbabub — the largest city, not 
only that exists, but. that ever did exist, and 
the capital of the Island of Vraibleusia, the 
most famous island, not only that is known, 
but that ever was known !" 

While he was speaking, they were accosted 
by a man upon crutches, who telling them in a 
broken voice that he had a wife and twelve 
infant children dependent on his support, sup- 



CAPTAIN rOPANILLA. 65 

plicated a little charity. Popanilla was about 
to empty part of his pocketfuls into the men- 
dicant's cap, but his companion repressed his 
unphilosophical facility. " By no means !" 
said his friend, who, turning round to the beg- 
gar, advised him, in a mild voice, to icork ; 
calmly adding, that if he presumed to ask cha- 
rity again, he should certainly have him bas- 
tinadoed. Then they walked on. 

Popanilla's attention was so distracted by the 
variety, the number, the novelty, and the noise 
of the objects which were incessantly hurried 
upon his observation, that he found no time to 
speak; and as his companion, though exceed- 
ingly polite, was a man. of few words, con- 
versation rather flagged. 

At last, overwhelmed by the magnificence of 
the streets, the splendour of the shops, the 
number of human beings, the rattling of the 
vehicles, the dashing of the horses, and a thou- 
sand other sounds and objects, Popanilla gave 



66 THE VOYAGE OF 

loose to a loud and fervent wish that his hotel 
might have the good fortune of being situated 
in this interesting quarter. 

" By no means !" said his companion, " we 
have yet much farther to go. Far from this 
being a desirable situation for you, my friend, 
I assure you that no civilized person is ever 
seen here ; and had not the cause of civil and 
religious liberty fortunately called me to the 
water- side to-day, I should have lost the op- 
portunity of showing how greatly I esteem a 
gentleman who has suffered so severely in the 
cause of national amelioration." 

"Sit!" said Popanilla, "your approbation 
is the only reward which I ever shall desire for 
my exertions. You will excuse me for not 
quite keeping up with you ; but the fact is, 
my pockets are so stuffed with cash, that the 
action of my legs is greatly impeded.""" 

" Credit me, my friend ! that you are suffering 
from an inconvenience which you will not long 
experience in Hubbabub. Nevertheless, to re- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 67 

medy it at present, I think the best thing we 
can do, is to buy a purse." 

They accordingly entered a shop where such 
an article might be found, and taking up a 
small sack, for Popanilla was very rich, his 
companion inquired its price, which he was in- 
formed was four crowns. No sooner had the 
desired information been given, than the pro- 
prietor of the opposite shop rushed in, and 
offered him the same article for three crowns. 
The original merchant, not at all surprised at 
the intrusion, and not the least apologising for 
his former extortion, then demanded two. His 
rival, being more than his match, he cour- 
teously dropped upon his knee, and requested 
his customer to accept the article gratis, for his 
sake. The generous dealer would infallibly 
have carried the day, had not his rival humbly 
supplicated the purchaser, not only to receive 
his article as a gift, but also the compliment 
of a crown inside. 

" What a terrible cheat the first merchant 



68 THE VOYAGE OF 

must have been [" said the puzzled Popanilla, 
as they proceeded on their way. 

" By no means !" said his calm companion ; 
" the purse was sufficiently cheap, even at four 
crowns. This is not Cheatery, this is Compe- 
tition V 

" What a wonderful nation, then, this must 
be, where you not only get purses gratis, but 
even well loaded ! What use, then, is all this 
heavy gold ? It is a tremendous trouble to 
carry ; — I will empty the bag into this kennel, 
for money surely can be of no use in a city 
where, when in want of cash, you have only to 
go into a shop and buy a purse !" 

*' Your pardon !" said his companion ; " far 
from this being the case, Vraibleusia is, with- 
out doubt, the dearest country in the world." 

"If then," said the inquisitive Popanilla, 
with great animation — *' if then this country be 
the dearest in the world — if — how — "" 

" My good friend !" said his companion, " I 
really am the last person in the world to answer 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 69 

questions. All that I know is, that really this 
country is extremely dear, and that the only 
way to get things cheap, is to encourage Com^ 
petition." 

Here the progress of the companions was im- 
peded for some time by a great crowd, which 
had assembled to catch a glimpse of a man who 
was to fly off a steeple, but who had not yet 
arrived. A chimney-sweeper observed to a 
scientific friend, that probably the density of 
the atmosphere might prevent the intended vo- 
litation ; and Popanilla, who, having read al- 
most as many pamphlets as the observer, now 
felt quite at home, exceedingly admired the 
observation. 

" He must be a very superior man, this gen- 
tleman in black !'' said Popanilla to his com- 
panion. 

" By no means ! he is of the very lowest 
class in society. But you are probably not 
aware, that you are in the most educated coun- 
try in the world." 



70 THE VOYAGE OF 

" Delightful !" said Popanilla. 

The captain was exceedingly desirous of 
witnessing the flight of the Vraibleusian Dae- 
dalus, but his friend advised their progress. 
This, however, was not very easy ; and Popa- 
nilla, animated, for the moment, by his natural 
aristocratic disposition, and emboldened by his 
superior size and strength, began to clear his 
way in a manner which was more cogent than 
logical. The chimney-sweeper and his com- 
rades were soon in arms, and Popanilla would 
certainly have been killed or ducked by this 
very superior man and his friends, had it not 
been for the mild remonstrance of his conductor, 
and the singular appearance of his costume. 

'•■ What could have induced you to be so 
very imprudent ?'' said his rescuer, when they 
had escaped from the crowd. 

" Truly,'' said Popanilla, *' I thought that 
in a country wh&fej^ou. may bastinado the 
wretch who presumes to ask you for alms, 
there could surely be no objection to my knock- 



CArXAlN POPANILLA. 71 

ing down the scoundrel who dared to stand in 
my way. 

" By no means !" said his friend, slightly 
elevating his eyebrows. ^' Here all men are 
equal. You are probably not aware that you 
are at present in the freest country in the 
world." 

" I do not exactly understand you ; what is 
this freedom ?" 

" My good friend i I really am the last per^ 
son in the world to answer questions. Freedom 
is, in one word — Liberty: a kind of thing 
which you foreigners never can understand, and 
which mere theory can make no man under- 
stand. When you have been in the Island a 
few weeks, all will be quite clear to you. In 
the mean time, do as others do, and never knock 
men down V 



72 



THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER VII. 

" Although we are yet some way from our 
hotel," remarked Popanilla's conductor, " we 
have now arrived at a part of the city where I 
can ease you, without difficulty, from your 
troublesome burthen ; let us enter here !"" 

As he spoke, they stopped before a splendid 
palace, and proceeding through various halls 
full of individuals apparently intently busied, 
the companions were at last ushered into an 
apartment of smaller size, but of more elegant 
character. A personage of prepossessing ap- 
pearance was lolling on a couch of an appear- 
ance equally prepossessing. Before him, on a 
table, were some papers, exquisite fruits, and 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 73 

some liqueurs. Popanilla was presented, and re- 
ceived, with the most fascinating complaisance. 
His friend stated the object of their visit, and 
handed the sackful of gold to the gentleman 
on the sofa. The gentleman on the sofa order- 
ed a couple of attendants to ascertain its con- 
tents. While this computation was going on, 
he amused his guests by his lively conversa- 
tion, and charmed Popanilla by his polished 
manners, and easy civility. He offered him, 
during his stay in Vraibleusia, the use of a 
couple of equipages, a villa, and an opera-box ; 
insisted upon sending to his hotel some pine- 
apples, and some very rare wine ; and gave him 
a perpetual ticket to his picture-gallery. When 
his attendants had concluded their calculation, 
he ordered them to place Popanilla's precious 
metal in his treasury ; and then presenting the 
captain with a small packet of pink shells, he 
kindly inquired whether he could be of any 
further use to him. Popanilla was very loth 
to retire without his gold, of the utility of 

E 



74 THE VOYAGE OF 

which, in spite of the conveniency of compe- 
tition, he seemed to possess an instinctive con- 
ception ; but as his friend rose and withdrew, 
he could do nothing less than accompany him ; 
for having now known him nearly half a day, 
his confidence in his honour and integrity was 
naturally unbounded. 

" That was the king, of course ?" said Popa- 
nilla, when they were fairly out of the palace. 

" The king !" said the unknown, nearly 
surprised into an exclamation — " by no means !" 

" And what then ?" 

" My good friend .' is it possible that you 
have no bankers in your country ?" 

" Yes, it is very possible; but we have 
mermaids, who also give us shells which are 
very pretty. What then are your bankers ?" 

" Really, my good friend ! that is a question 
which I never remember ' having being asked 
before ; but a banker is a man who — keeps our 
money for us."" 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 75 

" All ! and he is bound, I suppose, to return 
you your money when you choose." 

" Most assuredly !" 

" He is then, in fact, your servant : you must 
pay him handsomely, for him to live so well ?" 

*• By no means ! we pay him nothing." 

" That is droll, he must be very rich then?" 

" Really, my dear friend ! I cannot say. — 
Why yes ! I — I suppose, he may be very rich !*" 

" 'Tis singular, that a rich man should take 
so much trouble for others I" 

" My good friend ! of course, he lives by 
his trouble.*' 

" Ah ! How then," continued the inquisitive 
Fantaisian, " if you do not pay him for his 
services, and he yet lives by them, how, I 
pray, does he acquire these immense riches ?" 

" Really, my good Sir, I am, in truth, the 
very last man in the world to answer ques- 
tions: he is a banker — bankers are always 
rich — but why they are, or how they are, I 
E 2 



76 THE VOYAGE OF 

really never had time to inquire. But I sup- 
pose, if the truth were known, they must have 
very great opportunities.*' 

" Ah ! I begin to see," said Popanilla. — " It 
was really very kind of him," continued the 
captain, '' to make me a present of these 
little pink shells : what would I not now give 
to turn them into a necklace, and send it to a 
certain person at Fantaisie !" 

" It would be a very expensive necklace," 
observed his companion, almost surprised. " I 
had no idea, I confess, from your appearance, 
that in your country they indulged in such ex- 
pensive tastes in costume ?" 

" Expensive .?" said Popanilla. " We cer- 
tainly have no such shells as these in Fantai- 
sie ; but we have much more beautiful ones — 
I should think, from their look, they must be 
rather common." 

His conductor, for the first time, nearly 
laughed. '* I forgot," said he, '• that you 
could not possibly be aware, that these pink 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 77 

shells are the most precious coin of the land ; 
compared with which, those bits of gold with 
■which you have recently parted, are nothing — 
your whole fortune is now in that little packet. 
The fact is," continued the unknown, making 
an effort to communicate, " although we pos- 
sess in this country more of the precious metals 
than all the rest of the world together, the 
quantity is nevertheless utterly disproportion ed 
to the magnitude of our wealth, and our wants. 
We have been, therefore, under the necessity of 
resorting to other means of representing the 
first, and supplying the second; and taking 
advantage of our insulai situation, we have 
introduced these small pink shells, which abound 
all round the coast. Being much more con- 
venient to carry, they are in general circula- 
tion, and no genteel person has ever any thing 
else in his pocket." 

" Wonderful ! but surely, then, it is no very 
difficult thing, in this country, to accumulate a 
fortune, since all that is necessary to give you 



78 THE VOYAGE OF 

every luxury of life, is a stroll one morning of 
your existence along the beach." 

" By no means, my friend ! you are really 
too rapid ! The fact is, that no one has the 
power of originally circulating these shells, but 
our Government ; and if any one, by any 
chance, choose to violate this arrangement, we 
make up for depriving him of his solitary 
walks on the shore, by instant submersion in 
the sea." 

'' Then the whole circulation of the country 
is at the mercy of your Government ?" remarked 
Popanilla; summoning to his recollection the 
contents of one of those shipwrecked brochures 
which had exercised so strange an influence on 
his destiny, " suppose they do not choose to 
issue ?" 

" That is always guarded against. The mere 
quarterly payments of interest upon our na- 
tional debt will secure an ample supply." 

'' Debt ! I thought you were the richest na- 
tion in the world ?" 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 79 

" 'Tis true ; nevertheless, if there were a 
golden pyramid, with a base as big as the whole 
earth, and an apex touching the heavens, it 
would not supply us with sufficient metal to 
satisfy our creditors.'' 

" But, my dear Sir," exclaimed the perplexed 
Popanilla, " if this really be true, how, then, 
can you be said to be the richest nation in the 
world ?" 

" It is very simple. The annual interest 
u|)on our debt exceeds the whole wealth of the 
rest of the world; therefore, we must be the 
richest nation in world.*" 

" 'Tis very true," said Popanilla ; "I see I 
have yet much to learn. But with regard to 
these pink shells, how can you possibly create 
for them a certain standard of value? It is 
merely agreement among yourselves that fixes 
any value to them." 

" By no means ! you are so rapid ! Each 
shell is immediately convertible into gold ; of 
which metal, let me again remind you, we pos- 



80 THE VOYAGE OF 

sess more than any other nation ; but which, in- 
deed, we only keep as a sort of dress coin, 
chiefly to indulge the prejudices of foreigners.''' 

" But," said the perpetual Popanilla, " sup- 
pose every man who held a shell on the same 
day were to '*'' 

" My good friend ! I really am the last per- 
son in the world to give explanations. In 
Vraibleusia, we have so much to do, that we 
have no time to think — a habit which only be- 
comes nations who are not employed. You are 
now fast approaching the Great Shell Question ; 
a question which, I confess, affects the interests 
of every man in this Island more than any 
other ; but of which, I must candidly own, every 
man in this Island is more ignorant than of any 
other. No one, however, can deny that the system 
works well ; and if any thing at any time go 
wrong, why really Mr- Secretary Periwinkle is 
a wonderful man, and our most eminent con- 
chologist, — he, no doubt, will set it right ; and 
if, by any chance, things are past even his ma- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 81 

nagement, why then, I suppose, to use our na- 
tional motto — something will turn up.'"* 

Here they arrived at the hotel. Having 
made every arrangement for the comfort and 
convenience of the Fantaisian stranger, Popa- 
nilla's conductor took his leave ; previously in- 
forming him, that his name was Skindeep ; that 
he was a member of one of the largest families 
in the Island ; that, had he not been engaged to 
attend a lecture upon the system adopted with 
regard to the salaries of the professors in the 
Universities of the Antipodes, he would have 
stayed and dined with him ; but that he would 
certainly call upon him on the morrow. 

Cornpared with his hotel, the palace of his 
banker was a dungeon ; even the sunset volup- 
tuousness of Fantaisie was now remembered 
without regret in the blaze of artificial light, 
and in the artificial gratification of desires which 
art had alone created. After a magnificent re- 
past, his host politely inquired of Popanilla 
whether he would like to go to the Opera, the 
E 5 



o% THE VOYAGE OF 

Comedy, or a Concert ; but the Fantaisian phi- 
losopher was not yet quite corrupted ; and still 
inspired with a desire to acquire useful know- 
ledge, he begged his landlord to procure him 
immediately a pamphlet on the Shell Question. 
While his host was engaged in procuring this 
luxury, a man entered the room and told Popa- 
nilla that he had walked that day two thousand 
five hundred paces, and that the tax due to the 
excise upon this promenade was fifty crowns. 
The captain stared, and remarked to the excise- 
officer, that he thought a man's paces were a 
very strange article to tax : the excise-officer, 
with great civility, answered that, no doubt at 
first sight it might appear rather strange, but 
that it was the only article left untaxed in Vrai- 
bleusia ; that there was a slight deficiency in the 
last quarter's revenue, and that therefore the 
Government had no alternative ; that it was a 
tax which did not press heavily upon the indi- 
vidual, because the Vraibleusians were of a very 
sedentary habit ; that besides, it was an opinion 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 83 

every day more received among the best judges, 
that the more a man was taxed, the richer he 
ultimately would prove ; and he concluded by 
saying, that Popanilla need not make himself 
uneasy about these demands ; because, if he were 
ruined to-morrow, being a foreigner, he was en- 
titled by the law of the land to five thousand 
a-year ; whereas, he, the exciseman, being a na- 
tive-born Vraibleusian, had no claims whatever 
upon the Government ; therefore he hoped his 
honour would give him something to drink. 

His host now entered with the " Novum 
Organon" of the great Periwinkle. — While 
Popanilla devoured the lively pages of this 
treatise, he discovered that the system which 
had been so subtilely introduced by the Go- 
vernment, and which had so surprised him in 
the morning, had soon been adopted in private 
life ; and although it was drowning matter to 
pick up pink shells, still there was nothing to 
prevent the whole commerce of. the country 
from being carried on by means of a system 



84 THE VOYAGE OF 

equally concbological. He found that the 
social action in every part of the Island was 
regulated and assisted by this process. Oyster- 
shells were first introduced ; muscle-shells 
speedily followed ; and, as commerce became 
more complicate, they had even been obliged 
to have recourse to snail-shells. Popanilla re- 
tired to rest with the most perfect admiration 
of the people who thus converted to the most 
useful purposes, things apparently so useless. 
There was no saying now what might not be 
done, even with a nut-shell. It was evident 
that the nation, who contrived to be the richest 
people in the world, while they were ov^r head 
and ears in debt, must be fast approaching to a 
state of perfection. Finally, sinking to sleep in 
a bed of eiderdown, Popanilla was confirmed in 
his prejudices against a state of Nature. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 85 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Skindeep called upon Popanilla on the fol- 
lowing morning in a very elegant equipage, 
and, with great politeness, proposed to attend 
him in a drive about the city. 

The Island of Vraibleusia is one hundred and 
fifty miles in circumference, two-thirds of which 
are covered by the city of Hubbabub. It con- 
tains no other city, nor town, nor village. The 
rest of the Island consists of three hundred 
rivers, five hundred canals, and twelve hundred 
rail-roads. Popanilla was surprised when he 
was informed that Hubbabub did not contain 
more than five millions of inhabitants ; but his 
surprise was decreased, when their journey occa- 



86 THE VOYAGE OF 

sionally lay through tracks of streets, consist- 
ing often of capacious mansions which were 
entirely tenantless. On seeking an explana- 
tion of this seeming desolation, he was told that 
the Hubbabubians were possessed by a frenzy 
of always moving westward ; and that conse- 
quently great quarters of the city are perpe- 
tually deserted. Even as Skindeep was speak- 
ing, their passage was stopped by a large cara- 
van of carriages and waggons heavily laden 
with human creatures, and their children, and 
chattels. On Skindeep inquiring the cause of 
this great movement, he was informed by one 
on horseback, who seemed to be the leader of 
the horde, that they were the late dwellers in 
sundry squares and streets, situated far to the 
east ; that their houses having been ridiculed by 
an itinerant ballad-singer, the female part of the 
tribe had insisted upon immediately quitting 
their unfashionable fatherland ; and that now, 
after three days' journey, they had succeeded 
in reaching the late settlement of a horde, who 
had migrated to the extreme west. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 8T 

Quitting regions so subject to revolutions 
and vicissitudes, the travellers once more emerg- 
ed into quarters of a less transitory reputa- 
tion ; and in the magnificent parks, the broad 
streets, the ample squares, the palaces, the 
triumphal arches, and the theatres of occidental 
Hubbabub, Popanilla lost those sad and mourn- 
ful feelings which are ever engendered by con- 
templating the gloomy relics of departed great- 
ness. It was impossible to admire too much the 
architecture of this part of the city. The ele- 
vations were indeed imposing. In general, the 
massy Egyptian appropriately graced the attic- 
stories ; while the finer and more elaborate ar- 
chitecture of Corinth was placed on a level 
with the eye, so that its beauties might be 
more easily discovered. Spacious colonnades 
were flanked by porticos, surmounted by domes ; 
nor was the number of columns at all limited, 
for you occasionally met with porticos of two 
tiers, the lower one of which consisted of tlire6, 
the higher one of thirty columns. Pedestals 
of the purest Ionic Gothic, were ingeniously 



OO THE VOYAGE OF 

intermixed with Palladian pediments ; and the 
surging spire exquisitely harmonized with the 
horizontal architecture of the ancients. But 
perhaps, after all, the most charming effect 
was produced by the pyramids, surmounted by 
weathercocks. 

Popanilla was particularly pleased by some 
chimneys of Caryatides, and did not for a mo- 
ment hesitate in assenting to the assertion of 
Skindeep, that the Vraibleusians were the most 
architectural nation in the world. True it was, 
they had begun late ; their attention, as a peo- 
ple, having been, for a considerable time, at- 
tracted to much more important affairs ; but 
they had compensated for their tardy attention, 
by their speedy excellence.* 

Before they returned home, Skindeep led 
Popanilla to the top of a tower, from whence 
they had a complete view of the whole Island. 

* See a work which will be shortly published, entitled, 
" The difference detected between Architecture and 
Parchitecture, by Sansovino the Second." 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 89 

Skindeep particularly directed the captain's 
attention to one spot, where flourished, as he 
said, the only corn-fields in the country, which 
supplied the whole nation, and were the pro- 
perty of one individual. So unrivalled was his 
agricultural science, that the vulgar only ac- 
counted for his admirable produce by a mi- 
raculous fecundity ! The proprietor of these 
hundred golden acres, was a rather mysterious 
sort of personage. He was an aboriginal in- 
habitant, and though the only one of the abo- 
rigines in existence, had lived many centuries ; 
and to the consternation of some of the Vrai- 
bleusians, and the exultation of others, exhi- 
bited no signs of decay. This awful being 
was without a name. When spoken of by his 
admirers, he was generally described by such 
panegyrical periphrases as, "^ soul of the coun- 
try," — " foundation of the state," — " the only 
real, and true, and substantial being," — while 
on the other hand, those who presumed to differ 
from those sentiments, were in the habit of 



90 THE VOYAGE OF 

styling him " the dead weight," — *' the vam- 
pire," — " the night-mare," — and other titles 
equally complimentary. They also maintain- 
ed, that instead of being either real or sub- 
stantial, he was, in fact, the most flimsy and 
fictitious personage in the whole Island ; and 
then, lashing themselves up into metaphor, 
they would call him a meteor, or a vapour, 
or a great windy bubble, that would some day 
burst. 

The Aboriginal insisted that it was the com- 
mon law of the land, that the Islanders should 
purchase their corn only of him. They grum- 
bled, but he growled; he swore that it was 
the constitution of the country ; that there was 
an uninterrupted line of precedents to confirm 
the claim ; and that if they did not approve of 
the arrangement, they and their fathers should 
not have elected to have settled, or presumed 
to have been spawned upon his Island. Then, 
as if he were not desirous of resting his claim 
on its mere legal merits, he would remind them 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 91 

of the superiority of his grain, and the impos- 
sibility of a scarcity, in the event of which 
calamity, an insular people could always find 
a plentiful, though temporary resource in sea- 
weed. He then clearly proved to them, that if 
ever they had the imprudence to change any of 
their old laws, they would necessarily never 
have more than one meal a-day as long as they 
lived. Finally, he recalled to their recollection, 
that he had made the Island what it was, that 
he was their mainstay, and that his counsel and 
exertions had rendered them the wonder of the 
world. Thus, between force, and fear, and 
flattery, the Vraibleusians paid for their corn 
nearly its weight in gold ; but what did that 
signify to a nation with so many pink shells ! 



92 THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER IX. 

The third day, after his drive with his friend 
Skindeep, Popanilla was waited upon by the 
most eminent bookseller in Hubbabub, who 
begged to have the honour of introducing to the 
pubhc a Narrative of Captain Popanilla's 
Voyage. This gentleman assured Popanilla, 
that the Vraibleusian public was most nervously 
alive to any thing connected with discovery ; 
that so ardent was their attachment to every 
thing relative to science or natural philosophy, 
that voyages and travels were sure to be read 
with great eagerness, particularly if they had 
coloured plates. Popanilla was charmed with 
the proposition, but blushingly informed the 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 93 

mercantile Mecaenas that he did not know how 
to write. The publisher told him that this 
circumstance was not of the slightest import- 
ance ; that he had never for a moment sup- 
posed that so sublime a savage could possess 
such a vulgar accomplishment, and that it was 
by no means difficult for a man to pubhsh his 
Travels without writing a line of them. 

Popanilla having consented to become an 
author upon these terms, the publisher asked 
him to dine with him, and introduced him to a 
very intelhgent individual. This very intelli- 
gent individual listened very attentively to all 
Popanilla's adventures. The captain concealed 
nothing. He began with the eternal lock of 
hair, and showed how wonderfully this world 
was constituted, that even the loss of a thing was 
not useless ; from which it was clear, that Uti- 
lity was Providence. After drinking a dozen 
bottles of wine, the intelligent individual told 
Popanilla that he was wrong in supposing Fan- 
taisie to be an island ; that, on the contrary, it 



94 THE VOYAGE OF 

was a great continent — that this was proved by 
the probable action of the tides in the part of 
the Island which had not yet been visited — that 
the consequence of these tides would be, that 
in the course of a season or two, Fantaisie 
would become a great receptacle for icebergs, 
and be turned into the North Pole — that, there- 
fore, the seasons throughout the world would 
be changed — that this year in Vraibleusia, the 
usual winter would be omitted, and that when 
the present summer was finished, the dog-days 
would again commence. Popanilla took his 
leave, highly delighted with this inteUigent in- 
dividual, and with the bookseller's wine. 

Owing to the competition which existed be- 
tween the publishers, the printers, and the en- 
gravers, of the city of Hubbabub, and the 
great exertions of the intelligent individual, the 
narrative of Captain Popanilla's voyage was 
brought out in less than a week, and was im- 
mediately in every body's hand. The work 
contained a detailed account of every thing 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 95 

which took place during the whole of the three 
days, and formed a quarto volume. The plates 
were numerous and highly interesting. There 
was a line-engraving of Alligator Mountain, and 
a mezzotint of Seaweed Island ; a view of the 
canoe N.E. ; a view of the canoe N.W. ; a view 
of the canoe S.E. ; a view of the canoe S.W, 
There were highly-finished coloured drawings 
of the dried fish and the bread-fruit, and an 
exquisitely tinted representation of the latter in 
a mouldy state. But the chef-d'auvre was the 
portrait of the Author himself. He was repre- 
sented trampling on the body of a boa con- 
strictor of the first quality, in the skin of which 
he was dressed — at his back were his bow and 
arrows — his right hand rested on an uprooted 
pine-tree — he stood in a desart between two 
volcanos — at his feet was a lake of the greatest 
magnitude — the distance lowered with an ap- 
proaching tornado ; but a lucky flash of light- 
ning revealed the range of the Andes, and 
both Oceans. Altogether he looked the most 



96 THE VOYAGE OF 

dandyfied of savages, and the most savage of 
dandies. It was a sublime lithograph, and pro- 
duced scarcely less important effects upon Popa. 
nilla's fortune, than that lucky " lock of hair ;" 
for no sooner was the portrait published, than 
Popanilla received a ticket for the soirees in- 
tellectuelles of a lady of quality. On showing 
it to Skindeep, he was told that the honour 
was immense, and therefore he must go by all 
means. Skindeep regretted that he could not 
accompany him, but he was engaged to a lec- 
ture on shoemaking ; and a lecture was a thing 
which he made it a point never to miss ; be- 
cause, as he very properly observed, by lectures 
you may become extremely well-informed, with- 
out any of the inconveniences of study. No 
fixity of attention, no continuity of meditation, 
no habits of reflection, no aptitude of combi- 
nation, are the least requisite ; all which things 
only give you a nervous head-ache, — and yet 
you gain all the results of all these processes. 
True it is, that that which is so easily acquired, 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 97 

is not always so easily remembered ; but what 
of that ? Suppose you forget any subject — 
why then you go to another lecture." " Very 
true !" said Popanilla. 

Popanilla failed not to remember his invita- 
tion from Lady Spirituelle ; and, at the proper 
hour, his announcement produced a sensation 
throughout her crowded saloons. Spirituelle 
was a most enchanting lady; she asked Popa- 
nilla how tall he really was, and whether the 
women in Fantaisie were as handsome as the 
men. Then she said that the Vraibleusians 
were the most intellectual and the most scien- 
tific nation in the world, and that the society 
at her house was the most intellectual and the 
most scientific in Vraibleusia. She told him 
also, that she had hoped by this season the 
world would have been completely regulated 
by mind; but that the subversion of matter 
was a more substantial business than she and 
the Committee of Management had imagined : 
she had no doubt, however, that in a very short 

F 



98 THE VOYAGE OF 

time, mind must carry the day ; because matter 
was mortal, and mind eternal ; therefore, mind 
had the best chance. Finally, she also told him 
that the passions were the occasion of all the 
misery which had ever existed ; and that it was 
impossible for mankind ever to be happy or 
great, until, hke herself and her friends, they 
were ** all soul." 

Popanilla was quite charmed with his com- 
pany. What a difference between the calm, 
smiling, easy, uninteresting, stupid, sunset 
countenances of Fantaisie, and those around him. 
All looked so interested, and so intelligent; 
their eyes were so anxious, their gestures so 
animated, their manners so earnest. They 
must be very clever ! He drew nearer. If be- 
fore he were charmed, now he was enchanted : 
what an universal acquisition of useful know- 
ledge ! Three or four Dukes were earnestly 
imbibing a new theory of gas, from a brilliant 
little gentleman in black, who looked like a 
Will-oMhe-wisp. The Prime Minister was 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 99 

very anxious about pin-making. A Bishop 
equally interested in a dissertation on the es- 
capements of watches. A Field-marshal, not 
less intent on a new specific from the concen- 
trated essence of hellebore. But what most 
delighted Popanilla, was hearing a lecture from 
the most eminent lawyer and statesman in Vrai- 
bleusia, on his first and favourite study of 
hydrostatics. His associations quite overcame 
him : all Fantaisie rushed upoa his memory, 
and he was obliged to retire to a less frequented 
part of the room, to relieve his too excited 
feelings. 

He was in a few minutes addressed by the 
identical little gentleman who had recently been 
speculating with the three Dukes. 

The little gentleman told him that he had 
heard, with great pleasure, that in Fantaisie 
they had no historians, poets, or novelists. He 
proved to Popanilla that no such thing as Expe- 
rience existed — that as the world was now to be 
regulated on quite different principles to those 
F 2 



100 THE VOYAGE OF 

by which it hitherto had been conducted, simi- 
lar events to those which had occurred could 
never again take place; and therefore it was 
absolutely useless to know any thing about the 
past. With regard to literary fiction, he ex- 
plained, that as it was absolutel}'^ necessary from 
his nature, that man should experience a certain 
quantity of excitement, the false interest which 
these productions created, prevented their rea- 
ders from obtaining this excitement by methods 
Avhich, by ^the discovery of the useful, might 
greatly benefit society."" 

" You are of opinion, then," exclaimed the 
delighted Popanilla, " that nothing is good 
which is not useful." 

" Is it possible that an individual exists in 
this world, who doubts this great first princi- 
ple ?" said the little man with great animation. 

'' Ah ! my dear friend !" said Popanilla, " if 
you only knew what an avowal of this great 
first principle has cost me — what I have suf- 
fcred-^what I have lost !" 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 101 

" Wliat have you lost ?" asked the little gen- 
tleman. 

" In the first place, a lock of hair — " 

" Poh ! nonsense !" 

" Ah ! you may say poh ! but it was a very 
particular lock of hair." 

" My friend, that word is odious. Nothing 
is particular, every thing is general. Rules are 
general — feelings are general — and property 
should be general : and, Sir, I tell you what, 
in a very short time, it must be so. Why should 
Lady Spirituelle, for instance, receive me at her 
house, rather than I receive her at mine ?" 

" Why don't you then .?" asked the simple 
Popanilla. 

" Because I have not got one, Sir !" roared 
the little gentleman. 

He would certainly have broke away, had 
not Popanilla begged him to answer one ques- 
tion. The captain, reiterating in the most 
solemn manner his firm belief in the dogma, 
that nothing was good which was not useful. 



102 THE VOYAGE OF 

and again detailing the persecutions which this 
conviction had brought upon him, was delight- 
ed that an opportunity was now afforded to gain, 
from the Hps of a distinguished philosopher, a 
definition of what utiliUf really was. The dis- 
tinguished philosopher could not refuse so 
trifling a favour. 

" Utility," said he, is " 

At this critical moment there was an uni- 
versal buzz throughout the rooms, and every 
body looked so interested, that the philosopher 
quite forgot to finish his answer. On inquiring 
the cause of this great sensation, Popanilla was 
informed, that a rumour was about, that a new 
element had been discovered that afternoon. 
The party speedily broke up — the principal 
philosophers immediately rushing to their clubs 
to ascertain the truth of this report. Popanilla 
was unfashionable enough to make his acknow- 
ledgments to his hostess before he left her house. 
As he gazed upon her ladyship''s brilliant eyes 
and radiant complexion, he felt convinced of the 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. lOS 

truth of her theory of the passions ; he could 
not refrain from pressing her hand, in a man- 
ner which violated etiquette, and which a na- 
tivity in the Indian Ocean could alone excuse ; 
the pressure was graciously returned. As 
Popanilla descended the staircase, he discovered 
a little note of pink satin paper entangled in his 
ruffle. He opened it with curiosity. It was 
'• all soul." He did not return to his hotel 
quite so soon as he expected. 



104 



THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER X. 

PopANiLLA breakfasted rather late the next 
morning, and on looking over the evening 
papers, which were just published, his eyes 
lighted on the following paragraph : — 

" Arrived yesterday at the Hotel Diplo- 
matique, His Excellency Prince Popanilla, Am- 
bassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary from the newly recognised State of 
Fantaisie." 

Before his Excellency could either recover 
from his astonishment, or make any inquiries 
which might throw any illustration upon its 
cause, a loud shout in the street made him 
naturally look out of the window. He ob- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 105 

served three or four magnificent equipages 
drawing up at the door of the hotel, and fol- 
lowed by a large crowd. Each carriage was 
drawn by four horses, and attended by footmen 
so radiant with gold and scarlet, that had Po- 
panilla been the late ingenious Mr. Keates, he 
would have mistaken them for the natural chil- 
dren of Phoebus and Aurora. The Ambassador 
forgot the irregularity of the paragraph, in the 
splendour of the liveries. He felt triumphantly 
conscious that the most beautiful rose in the 
world must look extremely pale by the side of 
scarlet cloth ; and this new example of the su- 
periority of Art over Nature reminding him of 
the inferiority of bread fruit to grilled muffin, 
he resolved to return to breakfast. 

But it was his fate to be reminded of the 
inutility of the best resolutions, for ere the cup 
of coffee had touched his parched lips, the door 
of his room flew open, and the Marquess of 
Moustache was announced. 

His Lordship was a young gentleman with 
F 5 



106 



THE VOYAGE OF 



an expressive countenance, that is to say, his 
face was so covered with hair, and the back of 
his head cropped so bald, that you generally 
addressed him in the rear by mistake. He did 
not speak, but continued bowing for a consider- 
able time, in that diplomatic manner which 
means so much. By the time he had finished 
bowing, his suite had gained the apartment ; and 
his Private Secretary, one of those uncommonly 
able men who only want an opportunity, seized 
the present one of addressing Popanilla. 

Bowing to the late captain with studied re- 
spect, he informed him that the Marquess Mous- 
tache was the nobleman appointed by the Go- 
vernment of Vraibleusia to attend upon his Ex- 
cellency during the few first weeks of his mis- 
sion ; with the view of affording him all infor- 
mation upon those objects which might natural- 
ly be expected to engage the interest, or attract 
the attention of so distinguished a personage. 
The ' ancien marin' and present Ambassador 
had been so used to miracles, since the loss of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 107 

that lock of hair, that he did not think it su- 
pernatural, having, during the last few days 
been in turn a Fantaisian nobleman, a post- 
captain, a fish, a goddess, and above all, an 
author, he should now be transformed into a 
Plenipotentiary. Drinking, therefore, his cup of 
coffee, he assumed an air as if he really were 
used to have a Marquess for an attendant, and 
said that he was at his Lordship's service. 

The Marquess bowed very low, and the Pri- 
vate Secretary remarked, that the first thing to 
be done by his Excellency was to be presented 
to the Government. After that, he was to visit 
all the Manufactories in Vraibleusia, subscribe 
to all the Charities, and dine with all the Corpo- 
rations, attend a dejeuner a la fourchette at a 
palace they were at present building under the 
sea, give a gold plate to be run for on the 
fashionable race-course, be presented at morn- 
ing prayers at the Government Chapel, hunt 
once or twice, give a dinner or two himself, 
make one pun, and go to the Play ; by which 



108 THE VOYAGE OF 

various means, he said, the good understanding 
between the two countries would be materially 
increased, and in a manner established. 

As the Fantaisian Ambassador and his suite 
entered their carriages, the sky, if it had not 
been for the smoke, would certainly have been 
rent by the acclamations of the mob. " Popa- 
nilla for ever !" sounded from all quarters, ex- 
cept where the shout was varied by " Vraibleu- 
sia and Fantaisie against the world ! '' which 
perhaps was even the most popular sentiment of 
the two. The Ambassador was quite agitated, 
and asked the Marquess what he was to do. 
The Private Secretary told his Excellency to 
bow. Popanilla bowed with such grace, that 
in five minutes the horses were taken out of his 
carriage, and that carriage dragged in triumph 
by the enthusiastic populace. He continued 
bowing, and their enthusiasm continued increas- 
ing. In the mean time, his Excellency's por- 
trait was sketched by an artist who hung upon 
his wheel, and in less than half an hour a htho- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 109 

graphic likeness of the popular idol was wor- 
shipped in every print-shop in Hubbabub. 

As they drew nearer the Hall of Audience, 
the crowd kept increasing, till at length the 
whole city seemed poured forth to meet him. 
Although now feeling conscious that he was 
the greatest man in the Island, and therefore 
only thinking of himself, Popanilla's attention 
was nevertheless at this moment attracted by a 
very singular figure. He was apparently a man : 
in stature a perfect Patagonian, and robust as 
a well-fed Ogre. His countenance was jolly, 
but consequential ; and his costume a curious 
mixture of a hunting-dress and a court suit. 
He was on foot, and in spite of the crowd, with 
the aid of a good whip, and his left fist, made 
his way with great ease. On inquiring who 
this extraordinary personage might be, Popa- 
nilla was informed that it was the aboriginal 
INHABITANT. As the giant passed the Am- 
bassador's carriages, the whole suite, even Lord 
Moustache, rose and bent low ; and the Secretary 



110 THE VOYAGE OF 

told Popanilla that there was no person in the 
Island for whom the government of Vraibleusia 
entertained so profound a respect. 

The crowd was now so im'mense, that even 
the progress of the Aboriginal Inhabitant was 
for a moment impeded. The great man got 
surrounded by a large body of little mechanics. 
The contrast between the pale perspiring vi- 
sages and lean forms of these emaciated and 
half-generated creatures^ and the jolly form, 
and ruddy countenance, gigantic limbs, and 
ample frame of the aboriginal, was most strik- 
ing ; nor could any one view the group for an 
instant, without feeling convinced that the lat- 
ter was really a superior existence. The me- 
chanics, who were worn by labour, not reduced 
by famine, far from being miserable, were very 
impudent. They began rating the mighty one 
for the dearness of his corn. He received their 
attacks with great mildness. He reminded 
them that the regulation by which they pro- 
cured their bread, was the aboriginal law of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. Ill 

the Island, under which they had all so greatly 
flourished. He explained to them that it was 
owing to this protecting principle, that he and 
his ancestors, having nothing to do but to 
hunt and shoot, had so preserved their health 
that, unlike the rest of the human race, they 
had not degenerated from the original form 
and nature of man. He showed that it was 
owing to the vigour of mind and body, conse- 
quent upon this fine health, that Vraibleusia 
had become the wonder of the world, and that 
they themselves were so actively employed ; 
and he inferred that they surely could not 
grudge him the income which he derived, since 
that income was, in fact, the foundation of 
their own profits. He then satisfactorily de- 
monstrated to them, that if by any circum- 
stances, he were to cease to exist, the whole 
Island would immediately sink under the sea. 
Having thus condescended to hold a little par- 
ley with his fellow-subjects, though not fel- 
low-creatures, he gave them all a good sound 



112 THE VOYAGE OF 

flogging, and departed, amidst the loud and 
enthusiastic cheering of those whom he had so 
briskly lashed. 

By this time, Popanilla had arrived at the 
Hall of Audience. 

'' It was a vast and venerable pile." 

His Excellency and suite quitted their car- 
riages, amidst the renewed acclamations of the 
mob. Proceeding through a number of courts 
and quadrangles, which were all crowded with 
guards and officials, they stopped before a 
bronze gate of great height. Over it was writ- 
ten, in immense characters of living flalne, this 
inscription : — 

TO 

THE WISEST AMD THE BEST, 

THE RICHEST AND THE MIGHTIEST, 

THE GLORY AND THE ADxMIllATION, 

THE DEFENCE AND THE CONSTERNATION. 

On reading this mysterious inscription, his 
Excellency experienced a sudden and awful 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 113 

shudder. Lord Moustache, however, who was 
more used to mysteries, taking up a silver 
trumpet, which was fixed to the portal by a 
crimson cord, gave a loud blast. The gates 
flew open with the sound of a whirlwind, and 
Popanilla found himself in, what at first ap- 
peared, an illimitable hall. It was crowded, 
but the most perfect order was preserved. 
The Ambassador was conducted with great 
pomp to the upper end of the apartment, where, 
after an hour's walk, his Excellency arrived. 
At the extremity of the hall was a colossal and 
metallic Statue of extraordinary appearance. 
It represented an armed monarch. The head, 
and bust were of gold, and the curling 
hair was crowned with an imperial diadem : 
the body and arms were of silver, worked in 
the semblance of a complete suit of enamelled 
armour of the feudal ages ; and the thighs 
and legs were of iron, which the artist had 
clothed in the bandaged hose of the old 
Saxons. The figure bore the appearance of 



114 THE VOYAGE OF 

great antiquity, but had evidently been often 
repaired and renovated since its first for- 
mation. The workmanship was clearly of dif- 
ferent aeras, and the reparations, either from 
ignorance or intention, had often been effected 
with little deference to the original design. 
Part of the shoulders had been supplied by 
the other, though less precious metal, and 
the Roman and Imperial ornaments had un- 
accountably been succeeded by the less clas- 
sic, though more picturesque, decorations of 
Gothic armour. On the other hand, a great 
portion of the chivalric and precious material 
of the body had been removed, and replaced 
by a style and substance resembling those of 
the lower limbs. In its right hand, the Statue 
brandished a naked sword ; and with its left, 
leant upon a huge, though extremely rich 
and elaborately carved, crosier. It trampled 
upon a shivered lance and a broken chain. 
" Your Excellency perceives,"" said the Secre- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 115 

tary, pointing to the Statue, " that ours is a 
mixed Government.'" 

Popanilla was informed that this extraordinary 
Statue enjoyed all the faculties of an intellectual 
being, with the additional advantage of some 
faculties, which intellectual beings do not enjoy. 
It possessed not only the faculty of speech, 
but of speaking truth — not only the power of 
judgment, but of judging rightly — not only the 
habit of listening, but of listening attentively. 
Its antiquity was so remote, that the most pro- 
found and acute antiquarians had failed in 
tracing back its origin. The Aboriginal Inha- 
bitant, however, asserted that it was the work 
of one of his ancestors ; and as his assertion 
was confirmed by all traditions, the allegation 
was received. Whatever might have been its 
origin, certain it was, that it was now immor- 
tal — ^for it could never die — and to whomsoever 
it might have been originally indebted for its 
power, not less sure was it, that it was now 



116 



THE VOYAGE OF 



omnipotent, for it could do all things Thus 
alleged, and thus believed, the Vraibleusians — 
marvellous and sublime people I who with all the 
impotence of mortality, have created a Govern- 
ment which is both immortal and omnipotent ! 

Generally speaking, the Statue was held in 
great reverence, and viewed with great admira- 
tion by the whole Vraibleusian people. There 
were a very few persons, indeed, who asserted 
that the creation of such a Statue was by no 
means so mighty a business as it had been the 
fashion to suppose: and that it was more than 
probable, that with the advantages afforded by 
the scientific discoveries of modern times, they 
would succeed in making a more useful one. 
This, indeed, they offered to accomplish, pro- 
vided the present Statue were preliminarily de- 
stroyed ; but as they were well assured that this 
offer would never be accepted, it was generally 
treated, by those who refused it, as a bragga- 
docio. There were many also, who, though 
they in general greatly admired and respect- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 117 

ed the present Statue, aiFected to believe that, 
though the execution was very wonderful, and 
the interior machinery indeed far beyond the 
powers of the present age, nevertheless the de- 
sign was in many parts somewhat rude, and 
the figure altogether far from being well pro- 
portioned. Some thought the head too big 
— some too small, — some that the body was 
disproportionately little — others, on the con- 
trary, that it was so much too large, that it 
had the appearance of being dropsical — others 
maintained that the legs were too weak for the 
support of the whole, and that they should be 
rendered more important and prominent mem- 
bers of the figure ; while, on the contrary, 
there were yet others who cried out, that really 
these members were already so extravagantly 
huge, so coarse, and so ungenteel, that they 
quite marred the general effect of a very beau- 
tiful piece of sculpture. 

The same differences existed about the com- 
parative excellence of the three metals, and the 



118 THE VOYAGE OF 

portions of the body which they respectively 
formed. Some admired the gold, and main- 
tained, that if it were not for the head, the 
Statue would be utterly viseless: others pre- 
ferred the silver, and would assert that the 
body, which contained all the machinery, must 
clearly be the most precious portion ; while a 
third party triumphantly argued, that the iron 
legs which supported both body and head, must 
surely be the most valuable part, since without 
them the Statue must fall. The first party 
advised, that in all future reparations, gold only 
should be introduced ; and the other parties, 
of course, recommended with equal zeal their 
own favourite metals. It is observable, how- 
ever, that if, under these circumstances, the iron 
race chanced to fail in carrying their point, 
they invariably voted for gold in preference to 
silver. But the most contradictory opinions, 
perhaps, were those which were occasioned by 
the instruments with which the Statue was 
armed and supported. Some affected to be so 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 119 

frightened by the mere sight of the brandished 
sword, although it never moved, that they pre- 
tended it was dangerous to live even under the 
same sky with it ; while others, treating very 
lightly the terrors of this warlike instrument, 
would observe, that much more was really to 
be apprehended from the remarkable strength 
and thickness of the calm and peace-inspiring 
crosier ;" and that as long as the Government 
was supported by this huge pastoral staff, no- 
thing could prevail against it ; that it could 
dare all things, and even stand without the 
help of its legs. All these various opinions at 
least proved, that although the present might 
not be the most miraculous Statue that could 
possibly be created, it was nevertheless quite 
impossible ever to form one which would please 
all parties. 

The care of this wonderful Statue was in- 
trusted to twelve ' Managers,' whose duty it 
was to wind-up and regulate its. complicated 
machinery, and who answered for its good ma- 



120 THE VOYAGE OF 

nagement by their heads. It was their busi- 
ness to consult the oracle upon all occasions, 
and by its decisions to administer and regu- 
late all the affairs of the State. They alone 
were permitted to hear its voice ; for the Sta- 
tue never spoke in public save on very rare 
occasions, and its sentences were then really so 
extremely common-place, that had it not been 
for the deep wisdom of its general conduct, the 
Vraibleusians would have been almost tempted 
to believe that they really might exist without 
the services of the capital member. The 
twelve Managers surrounded the Statue at a 
respectful distance ; their posts were the most 
distinguished in the State ; and indeed the 
duties attached to them were so numerous, so 
difficult, and so responsible, that it required no 
ordinary abilities to fulfil, and demanded no 
ordinary courage to aspire to them. 

The Fantaisian Ambassador having been 
presented, took his place on the right hand of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 121 

the Statue, next to the Aboriginal Inhabitant, 
and public business then commenced. 

There came forward a messenger, who, 
knocking his nose three times with great re- 
verence on the floor, a knock for each metal of 
the figure, thus spoke : — 

" O thou wisest and best ! thou richest and 
mightiest! thou glory and admiration ! thou de- 
fence and consternation ! — lo ! the King of the 
North is cutting all his subjects' heads off!" 

This announcement produced a great sensa- 
tion. The Marquess Moustache took snuff; 
the private secretary said that he had long sus- 
pected that this would be the case ; and the Ab- 
original Inhabitant remarked to Popanilla, that 
the corn in the North was of an exceedingly 
coarse grain. While they were making these ob- 
servations, the twelve Managers had assembled in 
deep consultation around the Statue, and in a 
very few minutes the Oracle was prepared. 
The answer was very simple, but the exordium 

Q 



122 THE VOYAGE OF 

was very sublime. It professed that the Vrai- 
bleusian nation was the saviour and champion 
of the world — that it was the first principle of 
its policy to maintain the cause of any people 
struggling for their rights as men ; and it 
avowed itself to be the grand patron of civil 
and religious liberty in all quarters of the globe. 
Forty-seven battalions of infantry, and eighteen 
regiments of cavalry, twenty-four sail of the 
line, seventy transports, and fifteen bomb- 
ketches, were then ordered to leave Vraibleusia 
for the North in less than sixty minutes I 

" What energy !" said Popanilla ; *' what de- 
cision ! what rapidity of execution !" 

" Ay !" said the Aboriginal, smacking his 
thigh, " let them say what they like about their 
proportions, and mixtures, and metals — abstract 
nonsense ! No one can deny that our Govern- 
ment works well. But see ! here comes ano- 
ther messenger !" 

" O thou wisest and best I thou richest 
and mightiest ! thou glory and admiration ! 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 123 

thou defence and consternation ! — lo ! the people 
of the South have cut their king's head off!" 

" Well ! I suppose that is exactly what you 
all want," said the innocent Popanilla. 

The private secretary looked mysterious, and 
said that he was not prepared to answer — that 
his department never having been connected 
with this species of business, he was unable at 
the moment to give his Excellency the requisite 
information. At the same time, he begged to 
state, that provided any thing he said should 
not commit him, he had no objection to answer 
the question hypothetically. The Aboriginal 
Inhabitant said that he would have no hypotheses 
or Jacobins ; that he did not approve of cutting 
off kings' heads ; and that the Vraibleusians were 
the most monarchical people in the world. So 
saying, he walked up, without any ceremony, to 
the chief Manager, and taking him by the but- 
ton, conversed with him some time in a very 
earnest manner, which made the stocks fall two 
per cent. 

g2 



124 THE VOYAGE OF 

The Statue ordered three divisions of the 
grand army, and a battering-train of the first 
grade, off to the South, without the loss of a 
second. A palace and establishment were im- 
mediately directed to be prepared for the family 
of the murdered monarch ; and the commander- 
in-chief was instructed to make every exertion to 
bring home the body of his Majesty embalmed. 
Such an immense issue of pink shells was oc- 
casioned by this last expedition that stocks not 
only recovered themselves, but rose considerably. 

The excitement occasioned by this last an- 
nouncement, instantly evaporated at the sight 
of a third messenger. He informed the Statue, 
that the Emperor of the East was unfortunately 
unable to pay the interest upon his national 
debt ; that his treasury was quite empty, and 
his resources utterly exhausted. He requested 
the assistance of the most wealthy, and the 
most generous of nations ; and he offered them 
as security for their advance*, his gold and 
silver mines; which, for the breadth of their 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 125 

veins, and the richness of their ores, he said, 
were unequalled. He added, that the only 
reason they were un worked^ was the exquisite 
flavour of the water-melons in his empire ; which 
was so delicious, that his subjects of all classes, 
passing their whole day in devouring them, 
could be induced neither by force nor persua- 
sion to do any thing else. The cause was so 
reasonable, and the security so satisfactory, that 
the Vraibleusian Government felt themselves 
authorized in shipping off immediately all the 
gold in the Island. Pink shells abounded, and 
stocks were still higher. 

" You have no mines in Vraibleusia, I be- 
lieve ?'* said Popanilla to the Aboriginal. 

" No ! but we have taxes." 

" Very true !" said Popanilla. 

" I understand that a messenger has just 
arrived from the West," said the secretary to 
the Fantaisian] Plenipotentiary. " He must 
bring interesting intelligence from such inte- 
resting countries. Next to ourselves, they are 



126 THE VOYAGE OF 

evidently the most happy, the most wealthy, 
the most enlightened, and the most powerful 
Governments in the world. Although founded 
only last week, they already rank in the very 
first class of nations. I will send you a little 
pamphlet to-morrow, which I have just pub- 
lished upon this subject, in which you will see 
that I have combated, I trust not unsuccess- 
fully, the ridiculous opinions of those cautious 
statesmen who insinuate that the stability of 
these Governments is even yet questionable." 

The messenger from the Republics of the 
West now prostrated himself before the Statue. 
He informed it, that two parties had, unfortunate- 
ly, broken out in these countries, and threatened 
their speedy dissolution : that one party main- 
tained, that all human government originated 
in the wants of mar\; while the other party as- 
serted, that it originated in the desires of man. 
That these factions had become so violent, and 
so universal, that public business was altogether 
stopped, trade quite extinct, and the instal- 



CAPTAIN POPAN'ILLA. 127 

ments due to Vraibleusia, not forthcoming. 
Finally, he entreated the wisest and the best 
of nations to send to these distracted lands 
some discreet and trusty personages, well in- 
structed in the first principles of government ; 
in order that they might draw up constitutions 
for the ignorant and irritated multitude. 

The private secretary told Popanilla, that 
this was no more than he had long expected : 
that all this would subside, and that he should 
publish a postscript to his pamphlet in a few 
days, which he begged to dedicate to him. 

A whole corps diplomatique, and another ship- 
ful of abstract philosophers, principally Scotch- 
men, were immediately ordered off to the West ; 
and shortly after, to render their first principles 
still more eff*ective, and their administrative ar- 
rangements still more influential, some brigades 
of infantry, and a detachment of the guards, fol- 
lowed. Free constitutions are apt to be misun- 
derstood until half of the nation are bayoneted, 
and the rest imprisoned. 



128 THE VOYAGE OF 

As this mighty Vraibleusian nation had, 
within the last half hour, received intelligence 
from all quarters of the globe, and interfered 
in all possible affairs, civil and military, ab- 
stract, administrative, diplomatic, and financial, 
Popanilla supposed that the assembly would 
now break up. Some petty business, however, 
remained. War was declared against the King 
of Sneezeland, for presuming to buy pocket- 
handkerchiefs of another nation ; and the Em- 
peror of Pastilles was threatened with a bom- 
bardment for daring to sell his peppers to 
another people. There were also some dozen 
commercial treaties to be signed, or canvassed, 
or cancelled ; and a report having got about 
that there was a rumour that some disturbance 
had broken out in some parts unknown, a fly- 
ing expedition was despatched, with sealed 
orders, to circumnavigate the globe, and ar- 
range affairs. By this time, Popanilla tho- 
roughly understood the meaning of the mys- 
terious inscription. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 129 

Just as the assembly was about to be dis- 
solved, another messenger, who, in his agitation, 
even forgot the accustomed etiquette of salu- 
tation, rushed into the presence. 

" O most mighty ! Sir Bombastes Furioso, 
who commanded our last expedition, having 
sailed, in the hurry, with wrong orders, has at- 
tacked our ancient ally by mistake, and ut- 
terly destroyed him !'' 

Here was a pretty business for the Best and 
Wisest ! At first the Managers behaved in a 
manner the most undiplomatic, and quite lost 
their temper ; — they raved, they stormed, they 
contradicted each other, they contradicted 
themselves, and swore that Sir Bombastes"* head 
should answer for it. Then they subsided into 
sulkiness, and at length beginning to suspect 
that the fault might ultinjately attach only to 
themselves, they got frightened, and held fre- 
quent consultations, with pale visages, and 
quivering lips. After some time they thought 
they could do nothing wiser than put a good 
o 5 



130 THE VOYAGE OF 

face upon the affair — whatever might be the 
result, it was, at any rate, a victory — ^and a 
victory would please the vainest of nations : 
and so these blundering and blustering gen- 
tlemen, determined to adopt the Conqueror, 
whom they were at first weak enough to dis- 
claim^then vile enough to bully — and finally 
forced to reward. The Statue accordingly whis- 
pered a most elaborate panegyric of Furioso, 
which was of course duly delivered. The Ad- 
miral, who was neither a coward nor a fool, was 
made ridiculous by being described as the 
greatest commander that ever existed — one 
whom Nature, in a gracious freak, had made to 
shame us little men ; — a happy compound of the 
piety of Noah, the patriotism of Themistocles, 
the skill of Columbus, and the courage of Nel- 
son—and his exploit styled the most glorious 
and unrivalled victory that was ever achieved, 
even by the Vraibleusians ! Honors were decreed 
in profusion, a general illumination ordered 
for the next twenty nights, and an expedition 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 131 

immediately despatched to attack the right 
man. 

All this time the conquerors were in wait- 
ing in an anti-room, in great trepidation, and 
fully prepared to be cashiered or cut in quar- 
ters. They were rather surprised, when bow- 
ing to the ground, they were saluted by some 
half dozen Lords in waiting, as the greatest 
heroes of the age, congratulated upon their 
famous achievements, and humbly requested to 
appear in the Presence. 

The warriors accordingly walked up in pro- 
cession to the Statue, who, opening its mighty 
mouth, vomited forth a flood of ribbons, stars, 
and crosses, which were divided among the 
valiant band. This oral discharge, the Vrai- 
bleusians called " the fountain of honour." ^ 

Scarcely had the mighty Furioso and his 
crew disappeared, than a body of individuals 
arrived at the top of the hall, and placing 
themselves opposite the Managers, began rating 
them for their inefficient administration of the 



132 



THE VOYAGE OF 



Island, and expatiated on the inconsistency of 
their late conduct to the conquering Bombastes. 
The Managers defended themselves in a man- 
ner perfectly in character with their recent 
behaviour: but their opponents were not 
easily satisfied with their confused explana- 
tions and their explained confusions, and the 
speeches on both sides grew warmer. At 
length the opposition proceeded to expel the 
administration from their places by force, and 
an eager scuffle between the two parties now com- 
menced. The general body of spectators con- 
tinued only to observe, and did not participate 
in the fray. At first, this melee only excited 
amusement ; but as it lengthened, some wisely 
observed that public business greatly suffered 
by these private squabbles ; and some even ven- 
tured to imagine that the safety of the Statue 
might be implicated by their continuance. But 
this last fear was futile. 

Popanilla asked the private secretary, which 
party he thought would ultimately succeed. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 133 

The private secretary said, that if the present 
Managers retained their places, he thought that 
they would not go out; but if, on the other 
hand, they were expelled by the present op- 
position, it was probable that the present op- 
position would become Managers. The Abo- 
riginal thought both parties equally incom- 
petent ; and told Popanilla some long stories 
about a person who was chief Manager in his 
youth, about five hundred years ago, to whom 
he said he was indebted for all his political 
principles, which did not surprise Popanilla. 

At this moment a noise was heard through- 
out the hall, which made his Excellency believe 
that something untoward had again happened, 
and that another conqueror by mistake, had 
again arrived. A most wonderful being gal- 
loped up to the top of the apartment. It was 
half man and half horse. The secretary told 
Popanilla that this was the famous Centaur 
Chiron ; that his Horseship, having wearied of 
his ardent locality in the constellations, had de- 



134 THE VOYAGE OF 

scended some years back to the Island of Vrai- 
bleusia ; that he had commanded the armies of 
the nation in all the great wars, and had gained 
every battle in which he had ever been engaged. 
Chiron was no less skilful, he said, in civil, 
than in military affairs ; but the Vraibleusians, 
being very jealous of allowing themselves to be 
governed by their warriors, the Centaur had 
lately been out of employ. While the secre- 
tary was giving him this information, Popanilla 
perceived that the great Chiron was attacking 
the combatants on both sides. The tutor of 
Achilles, Hercules, and JEneas, of course, soon 
succeeded in kicking them all out, slnd con- 
stituted himself chief and sole Manager of the 
Statue. Some grumbled at this autocratic con- 
duct " upon principle," but they were chiefly 
connexions of the expelled. The great ma- 
jority, wearied with public squabbles, occasioned 
by private ends, rejoiced to see the public 
interest entrusted to an individual who had a 
reputation to lose. Intelligence of the appoint- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 135 

ment of the Centaur was speedily diffused 
throughout the Island, and produced great and 
general satisfaction. There were a few, indeed, 
impartial personages, who had no great taste 
for Centaurs in civil capacities ; from an appre- 
hension, that if he could not succeed in per- 
suading them by his eloquence, his Grace 
might chance to use his heels. 

* * * * * * J- 

t I have greatly abridged this chapter,, which runs 
upon matters which cannot interest the English reader. 
There follows in the original " a comparison between 
martial and field-marshal Law," which I have omitted, 
as I cannot annex any meaning to it. Though, by the 
latter phrase, we can scarcely suppose that any allu- 
sion is intended to that " ingenious young gentleman," 
whose disappearance was so feelingly deplored at the 
commencement of the present session by the lively 
Member for Winchelsea. 



136 



THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER XI. 

On the evening of his presentation day, his 
Excellency the Fantaisian Ambassador and 
suite honoured the national theatre with their 
presence. Such a house was never known ! The 
pit was miraculously overflown before the doors 
were opened, although the proprietor did not 
permit a single private entrance : the enthu- 
siasm v/as universal, and only twelve persons 
were killed. The private secretary told Po- 
panilla, with an air of great complacency, that 
the Vraibleusian theatres were the largest in 
the world. . Popanilla had little doubt of the 
truth of this information, as a long time 
elapsed before he could even discover the stage. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 137 

He observed that every person in the theatre 
carried a long black glass, which he kept per- 
petually fixed to his eye. To sit in a huge 
room hotter than a glass-house, in a posture 
emulating the most sanctified Faquir, with a 
throbbing head-ache, a breaking back, and 
twisted legs, with a heavy tube held over one 
eye, and the other covered with the unem- 
ployed hand, is, in Vraibleusia, called a public 
amusement. 

The play was by the most famous dramatist 
that Vraibleusia ever produced ; and certainly, 
when his Excellency witnessed the first scenes, 
it was easier to imagine that he was once more 
in his own sunset Isle of Fantaisie, than in the 
rail-road state of Vraibleusia: but, unfortu- 
nately, this evening the principal characters 
and scenes were omitted, to make room for a 
moving panorama, which lasted some hours, 
of the chief and most recent Vraibleusian vic- 
tories. The audience fought their battles o'er 
again with great fervour. During the play, 



138 THE VOYAGE OF 

one of the inferior actors was supposed to have 
saluted a female chorus-singer with an ardour 
which was more than theatrical, and every lady 
in the house immediately fainted ; because, as 
the eternal Secretary told Popanilla, the Vrai- 
bleusians are the most modest and most moral 
nation in the world. The male part of the 
audience insisted, in very indignant terms, that 
the offending performer should immediately be 
dismissed. In a few minutes he appeared upon 
the stage to make a most humble apology, for 
an offence which he was not conscious of hav- 
ing committed; but the most moral, and the 
most modest of nations was implacable, and the 
wretch was expelled. Having a large family 
dependent upon his exertions, the actor, ac- 
cording to a custom prevalent in Vraibleusia, 
went immediately and drowned himself in the 
nearest river. Then the ballet commenced. 

It was soon discovered that the chief dancer, 
a most celebrated foreigner, who had been an- 
nounced for this evening, was absent. The up- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 139 

roar was tremendous, and it was whispered that 
the house would be pulled down ; because, as 
Popaniila was informed, the Vraibleusians are 
the most particular and the freest people in the 
world, and never will permit themselves to be 
treated with disrespect. The principal chan- 
delier having been destroyed, the manager ap- 
peared, and regretted that Signer Zephyrino, 
being engaged to dine with a Grandee of the 
first class, was unable to fuliil his engagement. 
The house became frantic, and the terrified 
manager sent immediately for the Signor. The 
artist, after a proper time had elapsed, appeared 
with a napkin round his neck, and a silver fork 
in his hand, with which he stood some moments, 
until the uproar had subsided, picking his 
teeth. At length, when silence was obtained, 
he told them that he was surprised that the 
most polished and liberal nation in the world 
should behave themselves in such a brutal and 
narrow-minded manner. He threatened them, 
that he would throw up his engagement im- 



140 



THE VOYAGE OF 



mediately, and announce to all foreign parts that 
they were a horde of barbarians ; then abusing 
them for a few seconds in round terms, he re- 
tired amidst the cheerings of the whole house, 
to finish his wine. 

When the performances were finished, the 
audience rose and joined in chorus. On Popa- 
nilla inquiring the name and nature of this 
effusion, he was told that it was the national 
air of the Isle of Fantaisie, sung in compli- 
ment to himself. His Excellency shrugged his 
shoulders, and bowed very low. 

The next morning, attended by his suite, Po- 
panilla visited the most considerable public offices 
and manufactories in Hubbabub. He was re- 
ceived in all places with the greatest distinction. 
He was invariably welcomed either by the chiefs 
of the department, or the proprietors themselves, 
and a sumptuous collation was prepared for 
him in every place. His Excellency evinced the 
liveliest interest in every thing that was pointed 
out to him, and instantaneously perceived that 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 141 

the Vraibleusians exceeded the rest of the world 
in manufactures and public works, as much as 
they did in arms, morals, modesty, philosophy, 
and politics. The private secretary being ab- 
sent upon his postscript, Popanilla received the 
most satisfactory information upon all subjects 
from the Marquess himself. Whenever he ad- 
dressed any question to his Lordship, his noble 
attendant, with the greatest politeness, begged 
him to take some refreshment. Popanilla re- 
turned to his hotel with a great admiration of 
the manner in which refined philosophy in 
Vraibleusia was applied to the common pur- 
poses of life ; and found that he had that 
morning acquired a general knowledge of the 
chief arts and sciences, eaten three hundred 
sandwiches, and tasted as many bottles of 
sherry. 



142 Tin: voyagk of 



CHAPTER XII. 

The most commercial nation in the world 
was now busily preparing to diffuse the bless- 
ings of civilization and competition thoughout 
the native country of their newly acquired 
friend. The greatest exporters that ever ex- 
isted had never been acquainted with such a 
subject for exportation as the Isle of Fantaisie. 
There, every thing was wanted. It was not a 
partial demand which was to be satisfied, nor a 
particular deficiency which was to be supplied ; 
but a vast population was thoroughly to be 
furnished with every article which a vast popu- 
lation must require. From the manufacturer 
of steam-engines, to the manufacturer of stock- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 143 

ings, all were all alike employed. There was 
no branch of trade in Vraibleusia which did 
not equally rejoice at this new opening for 
commercial enterprise, and which was not 
equally interested in this new theatre for Vrai- 
bleusian industry, Vraibleusian invention, Vrai- 
bleusian activity, and above all, Vraibleusian 
competition. 

Day and night, the whole Island was employ- 
ed in preparing for the great fleet, and in huz- 
zaing Popanilla. When at home, every ten 
minutes he was obliged to appear in the bal- 
cony, and then with hand on heart, and hat in 
hand — ^^ah ! that bow ! that perpetual motion 
of popularity ! If a man love ease, let him 
be most unpopular. The Managers did the 
impossible to assist and advance the intercourse 
between the two nations. They behaved in a 
most liberal and enlightened manner, and a 
deputation of the most liberal and enlightened 
merchants consequently waited upon them with 
a vote of thanks. They issued so many pink 



144 THE VOYAGE OF 

shells, that the price of the public funds was 
doubled, and affairs arranged so skilfully, that 
money was universally declared to be worth 
nothing, — so that every one in the Island, from 
the Premier down to the mendicant, whom the 
lecture-loving Skindeep threatened with the 
bastinado, was enabled to participate, in some 
degree, in the approaching venture — if we 
should use so dubious a term in speaking of 
profits so very certain. 

Compared with the Fantaisian connection, 
the whole commerce of the world appeared to 
the Vraibleusians a retail business. All other 
customers were neglected or discarded, and each 
individual seemed to concentrate his resources 
to supply the wants of a country where they 
dance by moonlight, live on fruit, and sleep on 
flowers. At length the first fleet of five hun- 
dred sail, laden with the most wonderful speci- 
mens of Vraibleusian mechanism, and the most 
innumerable bales of Vraibleusian manufactures; 
articles raw and refined, goods dry and damp. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 145 

wholesale and retail ; silks and woollen cloths ; 
cottons, cutlery and camlets ; flannels and ladies 
albums; under-waistcoats, kid-gloves, engrav- 
ings, coats, cloaks, and ottomans ; lamps and 
looking-glasses; sofas, round-tables, equipages 
and scent-bottles ; fans and tissue-flowers ; porce- 
lain, poetry, novels, newspapers, and cookery 
books ; bears-grease, blue pills, and bijouterie ; 
arms, beards, poodles, pages, mustachios, court- 
guides and bon-bons ; music, pictures, ladies' 
maids, scrap-books, buckles, boxing-gloves, gui- 
tars, and snuff-boxes ; together with a company 
of Opera-singers, a band of comedians, a popular 
preacher, some quacks, lecturers, artists, and 
literary gentlemen — principally sketch-book men 
— quitted, one day, with a favourable wind, and 
amid the exultation of the inhabitants, the port 
of Hubbabub ! 

When his Excellency Prince Popanilla, heard 
of the contents of this stupendous cargo, not- 
withstanding his implicit confidence in the su- 
perior genius and useful knowledge of the Vrai- 



U6 



THE VOYAGE OF 



bleusians, he could not refrain from expressing 
a doubt, whether, in the present undeveloped 
state of his native land, any returns could be 
made proportionate to so curious and elaborate 
an importation : but whenever he ventured to 
intimate his opinion to any of the most commer- 
cial nation in the world, he was only listened to 
with an incredulous smile, which seemed to pity 
his inexperience ; or told, with an air of pro- 
found self-complacency, that in Fantaisie '' there 
must be great resources." 

In the mean time, public companies were 
formed for working the mines, colonizing the 
waste lands, and cutting the coral rocks of the 
Indian Isle, of all which associations Popanilla 
was chosen Director by acclamation. These, 
however, it must be confessed, were speculations 
of a somewhat doubtful nature ; but the Branch 
Bank Society of the Isle of Fantaisie really held 
out the most flattering prospects. 

When the fleet had sailed, they gave Popa- 
nilla a public dinner. It was attended by all 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 147 

the principal men in the Island, and he made a 
speech, which was received in a rather different 
manner than was his sunset oration, by the mo- 
narch whom he now represented. Fantaisie, 
and its accomplished Envoy, were at the same 
time the highest and the universal fashion. The 
ladies sang a la Syrene ; dressed their hair a la 
Mermede^ and themselves a la Fantastigue; 
which, by the bye, was not new : and the gen- 
tlemen wore boa-constrictor cravats, and waltzed 
a la mer Indienne — a title probably suggested 
by a remembrance of the dangers of the sea. 

It was soon discovered, that without taking 
into consideration the average annual advan- 
tages which would necessarily spring from their 
new connexion, the profits which must accrue 
upon the present expedition alone, had already 
doubled the capital of the Island. Every body 
in Vraibleusia had either made a fortune, 
or laid the foundation of one. The penniless 
had become prosperous, and the principal mer- 
chants and manufacturers having realized large 
h2 



148 THE VOYAGE OF 

capitals, retired from business. But the colossal 
fortunes were made by the gentlemen who had 
assisted the administration in raising the price of 
the public funds, and in managing the issues of 
the pink shells. The eifect of this immense in- 
crease of the national wealth, and of this crea- 
tion 'of new and powerful classes of society, was 
speedily felt. Great moves to the westward were 
perpetual, and a variety of sumptuous squares 
and streets were immediately run up in that 
chosen land. Butlers were at a premium ; 
coach-makers never slept ; card-engravers, hav- 
ing exhausted copper, had recourse to steel ; 
and the demand for arms at the Heralds'* Col- 
lege was so great, that even the mystical ge- 
nius of Garter was exhausted, and hostile 
meetings were commenced between the junior 
members of some ancient families, to whom the 
same crest had been unwittingly apportioned ; 
but the seconds interfering, they discovered 
themselves to be relations. All the eldest sons 
were immediately to get into Parliament, and 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 149 

all the younger ones as quickly into the Guards : 
and the simple Farttaisian Envoy, who had the 
peculiar felicity of taking every thing au pied du 
lettre, made a calculation, that if these arrange- 
ments were duly effected, in a short time, the 
Vraibleusian representatives would exceed the 
Vraibleusian represented ; and that there would 
be at least three officers in the Vraibleusian 
Guards to every private. Judging from the 
beards and mustachios which now abounded, 
this great result was near at hand. With the 
snub nose, which is the characteristic of the 
Millionaires, these appendages produce a pleas- 
ing effect. 

When the excitement had a little subsided ; 
when their mighty mansions were magnificently 
furnished ; when their bright equipages were 
fairly launched, and the due complement of 
their liveried retainers perfected; when, in 
short, they had imitated the aristocracy in 
every point in which wealth could rival blood : 
then the new people discovered with dismay 



150 THE VOYAGE OF 

that one thing was yet wanting, which treasure 
could not purchase, and which the wit of others 
could not supply — Manner. In homely phrase, 
the Millionaires did not know how to behave 
themselves. Accustomed to the counting-house, 
the factory, or the exchange, they looked 
queer in saloons ; said " Sir !" when they ad- 
dressed you ; and seemed stiff, and hard, and 
hot. Then the solecisms they committed in 
more formal society, oh ! they were outra- 
geous ; and a leading article in an eminent 
journal, was actually written upon the subject. 
I dare not write the deeds they did ; but it 
was whispered, that when they drank wine, 
they filled their glasses to the very brim. All 
this delighted the old class, who were as en- 
vious of their riches, as the new people were 
emulous of their style. 

In any other country except Vraibleusia, 
persons so situated would have consoled them- 
selves for their disagreeable position, by a con- 
sciousness that their posterity would not be 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 151 

annoyed by the same deficiencies : but the 
wonderful Vraibleusian people resembled no 
other, even in their failings. They determined 
to acquire in a day, that which had hitherto 
been deemed the gradual consequence of tedi- 
ous education. 

A ^' Society for the Diffusion of Fashionable 
Knowledge," was announced ; the Millionaires 
looked triumphantly mysterious ; the aristo- 
crats quizzed. The object of the society is in- 
timated by its title ; and the method by which 
its institutors proposed to attain this object, 
was the periodical publication of pamphlets, 
under the superintendence of a competent com- 
mittee. The first treatise appeared : — its sub- 
ject was NONCHALANCE. It instructed its 
students ever to appear inattentive in the so- 
ciety of men, and heartless when they conversed 
with women. It taught them not to under- 
stand a man if he were witty; to misunder- 
stand him if he were eloquent ; to yawn or 
stare, if he chanced to elevate his voice, or pre- 



152 THE VOYAGE OF 

sumed to ruffle the placidity of the social calm, 
by addressing his fellow-creatures with teeth 
unparted. Excellence was never to be re- 
cognized, but only disparaged with a look :— 
an opinion or a sentiment, and the nonchalant 
was lost for ever. For these, he was to sub- 
stitute a smile hke a damp sunbeam, a mode- 
rate curl of the upper lip, and the all-speaking 
and perpetual shrug of the shoulders. By a 
skilful management of these qualities, it was 
shown to be easy to ruin another's reputation, 
and ensure your own, without ever opening 
your mouth. To woman, this exquisite trea- 
tise said much in few words : — " Listlessness, 
listlessness, listlessness,'' was the edict by which 
the most beautiful works of nature were to be 
regulated, who are only truly charming when 
they make us feel, and feel themselves. " List- 
lessness, listlessness, listlessness ;" for when you 
choose not to be listless, the contrast is so 
striking, that the triumph must be complete. 
The treatise said much more, which I shall 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 153 

omit It forgot, however, to remark, that this 
vaunted Nonchalance may be the offspring of 
the most contemptible and the most odious of 
passions : and that while it may be exceedingly 
refined to appear uninterested when others are 
interested, to witness excellence without emo- 
tion, and to listen to genius without animation, 
the heart of the Insensible may as often be in- 
flamed by Envy, as inspired by Fashion, 

Dissertations " On leaving cards," " On cut- 
ting intimate friends," '' On cravats," " On din- 
ner-courses," " On poor relations," *' On 
bores," " On lions," were announced as speedily 
to appear. In the meantime, the Essay on 
Nonchalance produced the very best eiFects. A 
ci-devant stock-broker cut a Duke dead at his 
club, the day after its publication ; and his 
daughter yawned, while his Grace's eldest son, 
the Marquess, made her an offer as she was 
singing " Di tanti palpiti." The aristocrats got 
a little frightened, and when an eminent hop- 
merchant and his lady had asked a dozen 
H 5 



164 THE VOYAGE OF 

Countesses to dinner, and forgot to be at home 
to receive them, the old class left off quizzing. 

The pamphlets, however, continued issuing 
forth, and the new people advanced at a rate 
which was quite awful. They actually began 
to originate some ideas of their own ; and there 
was a whisper among the leaders, of voting the 
aristocrats old-fashioned. The Diffusion Society 
now caused these exalted personages the great- 
est anxiety and uneasiness. They argued, that 
Fashion was a relative quality ; that it was quite 
impossible, and not to be expected, that all 
people were to aspire to be fashionable ; that 
it was not in the nature of things, and that if 
it were, society could not exist ; that the more 
their imitators advanced, the more they should 
baffle their imitations ; that a first and fash- 
ionable class was a necessary consequence of 
the organization of man ; and that a line of 
demarcation would for ever be drawn between 
them and the other Islanders. The warmth 
and eagerness with which they maintained and 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 155 

promulgated their opinions, might have tempt- 
ed, however, an impartial person to suspect 
that they secretly entertained some doubts of 
their truth and soundness. 

On the other hand, the other party main- 
tained that Fashion was a positive quality ; that 
the moment a person obtained a certain degree 
of refinement, he, or she, became, in fact, and 
essentially, fashionable : that the views of the 
old class were most unphilosophical and illibe- 
ral, and unworthy of an enlightened age ; that 
men are equal, and that every thing is open to 
every body ; and that when we take into con- 
sideration the nature of man, the origin of so- 
ciety, and a few other things, and duly consi- 
der the constant inclination and progression 
towards perfection which mankind evince — 
there was no reason why, in the course of time, 
the whole nation should not go to Almack's on 
the same night. 

At this moment of doubt and dispute, the 
Government of Vraibleusia, with that spirit of 



156 THE VOYAGE OF 

conciliation and liberality, and that perfect 
wisdom, for which it had been long celebrated, 
caring \ery little for the old class, whose inte- 
rest it well knew was to support it, and being 
exceedingly desirous of engaging the affections 
of the new race, declared in their favour ; and 
acting on that sublime scale of measures, for 
which this great nation has always been so 
famous, the Statue issued an edict, that a 
new literature should be invented, in order at 
once to complete the education of the Million- 
aires, and the triumph of the Romantic over the 
Classic School of Manners. 

The most eminent writers were, as usual, in 
the pay of the Government, and Burlington, 
A TALE OF Fashionable Life, in three vo- 
lumes, post octavo, was sent forth. Two or 
three similar works, bearing titles equally eu- 
phonious and aristocratic, were published daily ; 
and so exquisite was the style of these pro- 
ductions, so naturally artificial the construction 
of their plots, and so admirably inventive the 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 157 

conception of their characters, that many who 
had been repulsed by the somewhat abstract 
matter and arid style of the treatises, seduced 
by the interest of a story, and by the dazzling 
delicacies of a charming style, really now picked 
up a considerable quantity of very useful know- 
ledge; so that when the dehghted students 
had eaten some fifty or sixty imaginary dinners 
in my lord's dining-room, and whirled some 
fifty or sixty imaginary waltzes in my lady's 
dancing-room, there was scarcely a brute left 
among the whole Millionaires. But what 
produced the most beneficial effects on the 
new people, and excited the greatest indigna- 
tion and despair among the old class, were some 
volumes which the Government, with the most 
shocking machiavelism, bribed some needy 
scions of nobility to scribble, and which revealed 
certain secrets vainly believed to be quite sacred 
and inviolable. 



158 



THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER XIII. 

About this time, a rather curious incident 
occurred to Popanilla, which should not per- 
haps be unnoticed. 

One day, walking incognito, a habit quite 
refreshing to feted characters, his Excellency 
found himself in a street of unusual magnitude, 
and which was entirely formed of the largest 
and most magnificent palaces that he had ever 
seen. Not a human being was visible, perfect 
silence prevailed, and had a professor of the 
ambitious school of writing been on the spot in- 
stead of the Fantaisian Ambassador, he would 
infalhbly have been inspired, and written a 
highly imaginative paper, called " The City of 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 159 

the Dead !" His Excellency was rather sur- 
prised that he had never before had the plea- 
sure of walking in a street which was appa- 
rently the most splendid in the whole city ; but 
his surprise was lessened, when he was inform- 
ed by an ancient man, whom he had now dis- 
covered, that the greater part of the structures 
had risen during the preceding night. The 
old man, not having any teeth, Popanilla found 
it impossible to extract any thing further from 
him. 

As he proceeded, his attention was attracted 
by an elevation, remarkable as a very beautiful 
specimen of his own favourite style of archi- 
tecture — the Ionic Gothic; and he paused to 
indulge his eye with the soothing harmony of 
its proportions, and the apposite beauty of its 
ornaments. The portal was wide open — in- 
vitingly so— and the curious Popanilla, an epi- 
thet which diplomatic characters should really 
never merit, ventured to enter. 

He found himself in a long passage, lined 



160 



THE VOYAGE OF 



with servants in very splendid liveries, who 
crossed themselves as he passed with downcast 
eyes, but said nothing. They were so very 
respectful, that he still ventured to walk on. 
He came to a cut-glass door, which must have 
been full twenty feet high. The sunshine 
made it more brilliant than a peacock's tail. 
No sooner had he arrived at it, than it flew 
open, and two African mutes, clad in lion-skins, 
prostrated themselves before him; and, though 
in the freest country in the world, licked his 
feet. His Excellency was very confused, but 
as the fellows could not answer his questions, 
he could do nothing but proceed. 

He found himself in a most sumptuous sa- 
loon, hung with white satin, figured with gold, 
full of suitable furniture, and containing the 
largest and richest lustres that he ever remem- 
bered beholding. 

He now arrived at a door, corresponding to 
the previous one of cut-glass. It flew open, 
and two Greek boys, in the rich and picturesque 
costume of the Islands, bent before him. They 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 161 

were not mutes, but only spoke Greek, which 
Popanilla having forgotten, he could still do 
nothing else but walk on. The present saloon 
was even of a more gorgeous character than 
the preceding one. It was hung with maroon 
velvet, powdered with pearls; and from the 
centre of the ceiling was suspended a lantern 
of mother-of-pearl and rubies, of prodigious 
size and inestimable value. 

The adventurer, extremely confused, now 
advanced to a door of ebony with an ivory lock 
and ivory hinges ; it of course flew open, and 
Popanilla rather recovered his courage, when he 
was welcomed by two men-cooks with white silk 
aprons and cachemere shawls twisted round 
their heads. The present was a banqueting 
chamber. A most costly entertainment was 
served up for at least five hundred persons, and 
behind each chair, all in the same rich livery, 
stood a serving-man, highly powdered, and at 
least six feet three. It was a most magnificent 
banquet, and the second course was serving up 
as Popanilla entered. Every thing was there 



162 THE VOYAGE OF 

which can make a banquet delightful except 
guests : not a man, woman, or child, was seated 
at the tables. Although this was actually asto- 
nishing, an opportunity was at length afforded 
of receiving an explanation of all these myste- 
ries, and so Popanilla immediately addressed 
himself to the nearest attendant. The man did 
not even open his mouth, but pointed with 
great respect to a large statue of Harpocrates, 
placed in the centre of the sideboard. Popa- 
nilla now perceived, with infinite horror, that he 
was in an enchanted palace. 

The Plenipotentiary gazed about him with a 
look of the most ludicrous perplexity. Sud- 
denly observing a small door at no great dis- 
tance, which did not appear important enough 
to be opened either by Africans or Greeks, 
treading lightly on tip-toe, Popanilla effected his 
escape, and found himself in a dark passage. 
A twinkling light, which never deserts a puz- 
zled hero of romance, even in the darkest pas- 
sages, encouraged him to push forward, and a 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 163 

door opening, he emerged into the largest libra- 
ry that it was ever his misfortune to enter. 
The painted windows threw such a solemn light 
into the apartment, that Popanilla did not at 
first observe the only individual it contained; 
one who was apparently the librarian, and at 
present earnestly engaged in making a cata- 
logue of the tomes, entrusted to his superinten- 
dence. The busied custos never raised his 
head from off the sheet on which he was em- 
ployed ; and although Popanilla, having tried a 
whisper, and failed even in an exclamation, at 
length ventured almost to shout, he received no 
answer, and as little notice. After some time, 
the Prince, who was growing desperate, walked 
up to his silent companion and dared to touch 
his shoulder; upon which the librarian taking 
out of his pocket a trumpet of considerable 
length, applied it to his ear." 

" Good friend," halloed Popanilla, " where 
am I ? who are you ? and how can I get 
out ?" 



164 THE VOYAGE OF 

The gentleman shook his head, because not 
being accustomed to the Fantaisian accent, he 
could attach no meaning to the strange sounds 
which had reached his obdurate organ. Popa- 
nilla could do nothing else but repeat, in a still 
louder and more unintelligible tone, his useless 
queries. A ray of meaning lit up the counte- 
nance of the deaf man. He nodded with an 
air of great complacency, and evidently under- 
stood the querist. Taking a key from his pocket, 
he unlocked a door at the extreme end of the 
library, and Popanilla, delighted to escape, re- 
turned his rescuer his most grateful thanks, and 

slamming the door behind him, skipped into 

a picture gallery ! 

What a Charybdis ! The Prince had no love 
for art. His career had been too rapid to allow 
him sufficient leisure to form a taste. Doubt- 
less, in good time, he would become as complete 
a connoisseur as the rest — detect a Wouvermans 
by the white horse — recognize a sunset Claude — 
almost know an Albano— and discriminate be- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 165 

tween the second first manner, and the first 
third manner of Raffaello ! 

At present, however, his Excellency was as 
little interested by the collection, as the British 
nation by their National Gallery. A retreat, 
although he desired one as ardently as the 
English do the island of Cuba, was rendered im- 
possible alike by the soundness of the lock and 
the deafness of the librarian. An exit by the 
windows might be practicable. He examined 
them ; before him were chimneys, beneath him 
were skylights. To escape from this gallery 
appeared as impossible as to fly from Para- 
quay. Popanilla entertained for a moment some 
thoughts of trying the chimney, but he was a 
rather broad-shouldered hero ; and then an am- 
bassador covered with soot ! what would the 
young gentlemen of the Foreign Office say, if 
they heard of it .'^ It must not be thought of. 
In his despair he leant against a very fine copy 
of Corregio, which would have exactly suited us 
in this country. The hanging yielded to his 



166 THE VOYAGE OF 

pressure, and his Excellency stumbled into a 
billiard-room. He began to breathe again; 
and giving the fascinating balls a touch as he 
passed the table, in two minutes he was in a 
private chapel. Now he got on rapidly — dashed 
through half a dozen unfurnished apartments — 
ran over a venerable dame, who was probably 
the housekeeper — rattled along a gallery and a 
dark passage — came to the foot of a magnifi- 
cent staircase — cantered up — ^gained a landing- 
place — doors on both sides — cantered down — 
reached a passage — pushed open a door — and 
puffing, panting, and perspiring, threw himself 
upon a white satin sofa, in the white satin saloon. 

*' Good heavens ! what can be the matter 
with your Excellency .?"" exclaimed a voice, 
which proceeded from a gentleman who was 
writing at a distant table. 

Popanilla looked up, and perceived the very 
intelligent individual who had written his travels 
for him. 

" Ah ! my dear friend, are you caught too ? 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 167 

Where am I ? — What are you ? — How can I 
get out ?" 

The intelligent individual who, if Popanilla 
had not been an ambassador, would have 
thought him mad, very courteously approached 
him, and tendered his services in any ima- 
ginable way. But his Excellency seemed quite 
confounded, and could do nothing but advise 
the intelligent individual to make as speedy a 
retreat out of this enchanted place as possible. 

" I cannot understand/' said the intelligent 
individual. 

" Get out as soon as you can !" said Popa- 
nilla, not even listening to him. 

" What can—" 

" Particularly beware of an old fellow who 
is as deaf as a post." 

" Really, your Excellency !" 

" But if you do get in — push the Corregio !" 

" Is it possible that—" 

" Push ! push ! push !"— 

" I confess I am puzzled." 



168 



THE VOYAGE OF 



" Then keep to your right." 

At length, Popanilla being a little exhausted, 
the intelligent individual succeeded in intro- 
ducing a sentence. 

" I had no idea your Excellency was a 
member !" 

" A member ! what member ? I am no mem- 
ber r 

" Is it possible, then, that they could have 
presumed to blackball such an eminent cha- 
racter ? Really, this black-baUing system gets 
' too bad; " 

*' Blackballs, my good friend !" exclaimed 
Popanilla, looking as puzzled as when he saw 
the second course without any coursers ; *' Ah ! 
you mean those confounded Africans !" 

" Africans, your Excellency ! This is the 
Asiatic club !" 

" Club, Sir !" said Popanilla, " and pray 
what is a Club ?" 

" I see that there is a little misconception 
here," said the inteUigent individual, on whom 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 169 

light now began to dawn. " Your Excellency 
has probably honoured us by mistake. You 
must now, however, allow me to consider you as 
my visitor, and let me recommend you a bath 
and a bottle of soda V 

When the first had been taken, and while the 
second was preparing, the author of his travels 
proceeded to give the traveller some little in- 
formation respecting the nature of those insti- 
tutions, of which one had this morning occa- 
sioned him so much embarrassment. He 
informed him, that a Club consisted of a certain 
number of men, who subscribed certain sums 
for the purpose of securing select society ; that 
the Vraibleusian nation was more addicted to 
select society than any people in the world ; and 
that there was no possible sum which a Vrai- 
bleusian gentleman would not pay to enter 
select society, particularly if he himself were a 
person extremely ineligible. He said, that the 
present club, which was by no means the largest 
in Vraibleusia, numbered about ten thousand 



1^*70 THE VOYAGE OF 

members; that the street, which he had so 
much admired, entirely consisted of these esta- 
blishments, which had greatly increased since the 
late realization of the great fortunes. There 
was, he said, the European Club, the Asi- 
atic Club, the African Club, and the American 
Club, besides numerous other clubs, which 
respectively derived their titles from some 
country or region in these four quarters of the 
globe. There were also, he said, some mis- 
cellaneous establishments, such as the Yawners, 
the Loungers, the Steeple-hunters, the Rat- 
catchers, which was a political club, and the 
Quizzers. He said, that a man's moral cha- 
racter in Vraibleusia, was estimated by the 
number of clubs of which he was a member; 
and that Popanilla was not to suppose that 
each of the establishments he had mentioned 
was founded and supported by a separate body 
of individuals : on the contrary, the same ten 
thousand, generally speaking, sufficed for the 
whole fifty establishments. He also observed. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 171 

that it was the fashion for no man in Vraibleu- 
sia ever to appear at a club, lest it should be 
supposed, by his being seen at any particular 
establishment, that he was not a member of 
another one at which he was not seen. The 
moment, therefore, that any individual was 
elected, he never came near the house for 
which he paid to enter ; but as this was eti- 
quette, and not law, the establishment was 
maintained on a scale suitable to a most re- 
fined and numerous society ; and sumptuous 
banquets of three courses were served every 
day at different hours, for a considerable num- 
ber of guests. These entertainments, he said, 
were called house-dinners, because nobody 
ever dined at them. Finally, he observed, 
that being himself a man addicted to abstract 
studies, and therefore fond of Solitude, he ge- 
nerally lived at his Club. 



I 2 



17S THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Shortly after the sailing of the great fleet, 
the Private Secretary engaged in a speculation, 
which was rather more successful than any 
one contained in his pamphlet on " The Pre- 
sent State of the Western Republics." 

One morning, as he and Popanilla were 
walking on a quay, and deliberating on the 
clauses of the projected commercial treaty be- 
tween Vraibleusia and Fantaisie, the Secretary 
suddenly stopped, as if he had seen his father's 
ghost, or lost the thread of his argument, and 
asked Popanilla, with an air of suppressed agi- 
tation, whether he observed any thing in the 
distance. Popanilla, who, like all savages, was 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. US 

very long-sighted, applying to his eye the glass, 
which, in conformity to the custom of the 
country, he always wore round his neck, con- 
fessed that he saw nothing. The Secretary, 
who had never unfixed his glance, nor moved 
a step, since he asked the question, at length, 
by pointing with his finger, attracted Popa- 
nilla's attention to what his Excellency con- 
ceived to be a porpoise bobbing up and down 
in the waves. The Secretary, however, was 
not of the same opinion as the Ambassador. 
He was not very communicative, indeed, as to 
his own opinion upon this grave subject, but 
he talked of making farther observations when 
the tide went down; and was so listless, ab- 
stracted, and absent, during the rest of their 
conversation, that it soon ceased, and they 
speedily parted. 

The next day, when Popanilla read the 
morning papers, a feat which he regularly per- 
formed — for spelling the newspaper was quite 
delicious to one who had so recently learned to 



174 THE VOYAGE OF 

read, — ^he found that they spoke of nothing but 
of the discovery of a new Island, information 
of which had been received by the Government 
only the preceding night. The Fantaisian Am- 
bassador turned quite pale, and for the first 
time in his life experienced the passion of jea- 
lousy — the green-eyed monster, so called from 
only being experienced by green-horns. Al- 
ready the prominent State he represented 
seemed to retire to the back-ground. He did 
not doubt that the Vraibleusians were the most 
capricious, as well as the most commercial na- 
tion in the world. His reign was evidently 
over. The new Island would send forth a 
Prince still more popular. His allowance of 
pmk shells would be gradually reduced, and 
finally withdrawn. His doubts, also, as to the 
success of the recent expedition to Fantaisie, 
began to revive. His rising reminiscences of 
his native land, which, with the joint assistance 
of popularity and philosophy, he had hitherto 
succeeded in stifling, were indeed awkward. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 175 

He could not conceive his mistress with a page 
and a poodle. He feared much that the cargo 
was not very well assorted. Popanilla de- 
termined to inquire after his canoe. 

His courage, however, was greatly re-as- 
sured, when, on reading the second edition, he 
learned, that the new Island was not of a very 
considerable size, though most eligibly situated ; 
and moreover, that it was perfectly void of in- 
habitants. When the third edition was pub- 
lished, he found, to his surprise, that the Pri- 
vate Secretary was the great discoverer of this 
opposition Island. This puzzled the Plenipo- 
tentiary greatly. He read on ; — he found that 
this new acquisition, upon which all Vraibleusia 
was congratulated in such glowing terms by 
all its journals, actually produced nothing. 
His Excellency began to breathe: — another 
paragraph, and he found that the rival Island 
was — a rock ! He remembered the porpoise 
of yesterday. The Island certainly could not 
be very large, even at low-water. Popanilla 



176 THE VOYAGE OF 

once more felt like a Prince : he defied all the 
discoverers that could ever exist. He thought 
of the great resources of the great country he 
represented with proud satisfaction. He await- 
ed with the most easy confidence the return of 
the fleet which had carried out the most judi- 
cious assortment, with which he had ever been 
acquainted, to the readiest market of which he 
had any knowledge. He had no doubt his 
mistress Avould look most charmingly in a ba- 
rege. Popanilla determined to present his ca- 
noe to the National Museum. 

Although his Excellency had existed in the 
highest state of astonishment during his whole 
mission to Vraibleusia, it must be confessed, 
now that he understood his companion's question 
of yesterday, he particularly stared. His won- 
der was not decreased in the evening, when the 
Government Gazette appeared. It contained 
an order for the immediate fortification of the 
new Island by the most skilful engineers, with- 
out estimates. A strong garrison was instantly 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 177 

embarked. A Governor, and a Deputy-go- 
vernor, and Storekeepers, more plentiful than 
stores, were to accompany them. The Private 
Secretary went out as President of Council. 
A Bishop was promised ; and a complete Court 
of Judicature, Chancery, King's Bench, Com- 
mon Pleas, and Exchequer, were to be off the 
next week. It is only due to the characters 
of courtiers, who are so often reproached with 
ingratitude to their patrons, to record, that the 
Private Secretary, in the most delicate manner, 
placed at the disposal of his former employer, 
the Marquess Moustache, the important office 
of Agent for the Indemnification claims of the 
original Inhabitants of the Island. The post 
being a sinecure, the income being considerable, 
and local attendance being unnecessary, the 
noble Lord, in a manner equally delicate, ap- 
pointed himself. 

" Upon what system,"*' one day inquired 
that unwearied political student, the Fantaisian 
Ambassador, of his old friend Skindeep, " does 
I 5 



178 THE VOYAGE OF 

your Government surround a small rock in the 
middle of the sea with fortifications, and cram 
it full of clerks, soldiers, lawyers, and priests P"*' 
" Why, really, your Excellency, I am the 
last man in the world to answer questions, but, 
I believe, we call it the colonial system !" 

Before the President, and Governor, and 
Deputy-governor, and Storehousekeepers had 
embarked, the Vraibleusian journals, who 
thought that the public had been satiated 
with congratulations on the Colonial System, 
detected that the present colony was a job. 
Their reasoning was so convincing, and their 
denunciations so impressive, that the Managers 
got frightened, and cut off one of the Deputy- 
storekeepers. The President of Council now 
got more frightened than the Managers. He 
was one of those men who think that the world 
can be saved by writing a pamphlet. A pam- 
phlet accordingly appeared upon the subject 
of the new colony. The writer showed, that 
the debateable land was the most valuable ac- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. ^ 179 

quisition ever attained by a nation famous for 
their acquisitions ; that there was a spring of 
water in the middle of the rock of a remarkable 
freshness, and which was never dry, except 
during the summer, and the earlier winter 
months; that all our outward-bound ships 
would experience infinite benefit from this fresh 
water ; that the scurvy would therefore disap- 
pear from the service ; and that all the naval 
victories which the Vraibleusians would gain 
in future wars, would consequently be occa- 
sioned by the present colony. No one could 
mistake the felicitous reasoning of the author 
of " The Present State of the Western Repub- 
lics r 

About this time Popanilla fell ill. He lost 
his appetite and his spirits, and his digestion 
was sadly disordered. His friends endeavoured 
to console him by telling him, that dyspepsia 
was the national disease of Vraibleusia ; that 
its connexion with civil and religious liberty 
was indissoluble ; that every man, woman, and 



180 THE VOYAGE OF 

child, above fifteen, in the Island, was a martyr 
to it ; that it was occasioned by their rapid 
mode of dispatching their meals, which again 
was occasioned by the little time which the 
most active nation in the worJd could afford to 
bestow upon such a losing business as eating. 

All this was no consolation to a man who had 
lost his appetite ; and so Popanilla sent for a 
gentleman, who, he was told, was the most 
eminent physician in the Island. The most 
eminent physician, when he arrived, would not 
listen to a single syllable that his patient wished 
to address to him. He told Popanilla, that his 
disorder was " decidedly liver ;" that it was 
occasioned by his eating his meat before his 
bread, instead of after it ; and drinking at the 
end of the first course, instead of the beginning 
of the second; that he had only to correct 
these ruinous habits, and that he would then 
regain his tone. 

Popanilla observed the instructions of the 
eminent physician to the very letter. He in- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 181 

variably eat his bread before his meat, and 
watched the placing of the first dish of the 
second course upon the table ere he ventured 
to refresh himself with any hquid. At the end 
of a week he was infinitely worse. 

He now called in a gentleman who was re- 
commended to him as the most celebrated prac- 
titioner in all Vraibleusia. The most celebrated 
practitioner listened with great attention to 
every particular that his patient had to state ; 
but never condescended to open his own mouth. 
Popanilla was delighted, and revenged himself 
for the irritability of the eminent physician. 
After two more visits, the most celebrated 
practitioner told Popanilla that his disorder 
was " unquestionably nervous;*" that he had 
over-excited himself by talking too much ; that 
in future he must count five between each word 
he uttered, never ask any questions, and avoid 
society — that is, never stay at any evening-party 
on any consideration later than twenty-two mi- 
nutes past two, and never be induced by any 



182 THE VOYAGE OF 

persuasion to dine out more than once on the 
same day. The most celebrated practitioner 
added, that he had only to observe these re- 
gulations, and that he would speedily recover 
his energy. 

Popanilla never asked a question for a whole 
week, and Skindeep never knew him more de- 
lightful. He not only counted five, but ten, 
between every word he uttered ; and determin- 
ing that his cure should not be delayed, when- 
ever he had nobody to speak to, he continued 
counting. In a few days this solitary compu- 
tation brought on a slow fever. 

He now determined to have a consultation 
between the most eminent physician, and the 
most celebrated practitioner. It was delightful 
to witness the meeting of these great men. 
Not a shade of jealousy dimmed the sunshine 
of their countenances. After a consultation, 
they agreed that Popanilla's disorder was nei- 
ther " liver," nor " nervous," but " mind ;" 
that he had done too much ; that he had over- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 183 

worked his brain ; that he must take more ex- 
ercise ; that he must breathe more air ; that he 
must have relaxation ; that he must have change 
of scene. 

" Where shall I go ?" was the first question 
which Popanilla had sent forth for a fortnight, 
and it was addressed to Skindeep. 

" Really, your Excellency, I am the last 
man in the world to answer questions ; but the 
place which is generally frequented by us when 
we are suffering from your complaint, is Blun- 
derland." 

" Well, then, to Blunderland let us go !" 
Shortly before Popanilla's illness, he had 
been elected a member of the Vraibleusian Hor- 
ticultural Society, and one evening he had en- 
deavoured to amuse himself by reading the fol- 
lowing Chapter on Fruit. 



184 THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER XV. 

That a taste for Fruit is inherent in man, is 
an opinion which is sanctioned by the conduct 
of man in all ages and in all countries. While 
some nations have considered it profanation, or 
pollution, to nourish themselves with flesh, or 
solace themselves with fish ; while almost every 
member of the animal creation has in turn been 
considered either sacred or unclean — mankind, 
in all climes, and in all countries, the Hindoo 
and the Hebrew, the Egyptian and the Greek, 
the Roman and the Frank, have, in some de- 
gree, made good their boastful claim to reason, 
by universally feeding upon those delightful 
productions of Nature which are nourished 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 185 

with the dews of heaven, and which Hve for 
ever in its breath. 

And, indeed, when we consider how exceed- 
ingly refreshing at all times is the flavour of 
fruit ; how very natural, and, in a manner, born 
in him, is man's inclination for it ; how little it 
is calculated to pall upon his senses ; and how 
conducive, when not eaten to excess, it is to his 
health, as well as to his pleasure ; we must not 
be surprised that a conviction of its excellence 
should have been one of those few subjects on 
which men have never disagreed. 

That some countries are more favoured in 
their fruit than others, is a fact so notorious 
that its notice is unnecessary ; but we are not 
therefore to suppose that their appetite for it is 
more keen than the appetite of other nations for 
their fruit, who live in less genial climes. In- 
deed, if we were not led to believe that all na- 
tions are inspired by an equal love for this 
production, it might occasionally be suspected 
that some of those nations, who are least skilful 



186 THE VOYAGE OF 

as horticulturists, evince a greater passion for 
their inferior growths, than more fortunate 
people for their choicer produce. The effects 
of bad fruit, however, upon the constitution, 
and consequently upon the national character, 
are so injurious, that every liberal man must 
regret that any people, either from ignorance 
or obligation, should be forced to have recourse 
to any thing so fatal ; and must feel that it is 
the duty of every one, who professes to be a phi- 
lanthropist, to propagate and encourage a taste 
for good fruit throughout all countries of the 
globe. 

A vast number of centuries before Popanilla 
had the fortune to lose his mistress's lock of 
hair, and consequently to become an ambas- 
sador to Vraibleusia, the inhabitants of that 
Island, then scarcely more civilized than their 
new allies of Fantaisie were at present, suffered 
very considerably from the trash which they 
devoured, from that innate taste for fruit al- 
ready noticed. In fact, although there are an- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 187 

tiquaries who pretend that the Vraibleusians pos- 
sessed some of the species of wild plums and 
apples, even at that early period, the majority 
of inquirers are disposed to believe, that their 
desserts were solely confined to the wildest ber- 
ries, horse-chesnuts, and acorns. 

A tradition runs, that while they were com- 
mitting these abominations, a ship, one of the 
first ships that had ever touched at the Island, 
arrived at the present port of Hubbabub, then 
a spacious and shipless bay. The master of the 
vessel, on being brought before the King (for 
the story I am recording happened long before 
the construction of the miraculous Statue), 
presented, with his right hand, to his Majesty a 
small pyramidal substance of a golden hue, 
which seemed to spring out of green and purple 
leaves. His Majesty did not exactly under- 
stand the intention of this ceremony, but of 
course, like a true legitimate, construed it 
into a symbol of homage. No sooner had the 
King brought the unknown substance near to 



188 THE VOYAGE OF 

his eyes, with the intention of scrutinizing its 
nature, than the fragrance was so delightful, 
that by mistake he applied it to his mouth. 
The King only took one mouthful, and then, 
with a cry of rapture, Distantly handed the de- 
licacy to his favourite, who, to the great mor- 
tification of the Secretary of State, finished it. 
The Stranger, however, immediately supplied 
the surrounding courtiers, from a basket which 
was slung on his left arm ; and no sooner had 
they all tasted his gift, than they fell upon their 
knees to worship him ; vowing that the distri- 
butor of such delight must be more than man. 
If this avowal be considered very absurd and 
very extraordinary in this present age of phi- 
losophy, we must not forget to make due allow- 
ance for the palates of individuals, who, having 
been so long accustomed merely to horse-ches- 
nuts and acorns, suddenly, for the first time in 
their lives, tasted — Pine-apple. 

The Stranger, with an air of great humility, 
disclaimed their proffered adoration, and told 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 189 

them, that far from being superior to common 
mortals, he was, on the contrary, one of the 
lowHest of the human race — in fact, he did not 
wish to conceal it — in spite of his vessel and his 
attendants, he was merely a market-gardener 
on a great scale. This beautiful fruit he had 
recently discovered in the East, to which quar- 
ter of the world he annually travelled in order 
to obtain a sufficient quantity to supply the 
great Western hemisphere, of which he himself 
was a native. Accident had driven him with 
one of his ships into the Island of Vraibleusia, 
and as the Islanders appeared to be pleased with 
his cargo, he said that he should have great 
pleasure in supplying them at present, and re- 
ceiving their orders for the future. 

The proposition was greeted with enthusiasm. 
The King immediately entered into a contract 
with the market-gardener on his own terms. 
The sale, or cultivation, or even the eating of 
all other fruits, was declared high-treason ; and 
Pine-apple, for weighty reasons duly recited in 



190 THE VOYAGE OF 

the royal proclamation, announced as the esta- 
blished fruit of the realm. The cargo, under 
the superintendence of some of the most trusty 
of the crew, was unshipped for the immediate 
supply of the Island ; and the merchant and 
his customers parted, mutually delighted, and 
mutually profited. 

Time flew on. The civilization of Vraibleusia 
was progressive, as civilization always is ; and 
the taste for pine-apples ever on the increase, 
as the taste for pine-apples ever should be. 
The supply was regular and excellent, the 
prices reasonable, and the tradesmen civil. 
They, of course, had not failed to advance in 
fair proportion with the national prosperity. 
Their numbers had much increased as well as 
their customers. Fresh agents arrived with 
every fresh cargo. They had long quitted the 
stalls, with which they had been contented on 
their first settlement in the Island, and now 
were the dapper owners of neat depots in all 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 191 

parts of the kingdom, where depots could find 
customers. 

A few more centuries, and affairs began to 
change. All that I have related as matter of 
fact, and which certainly is not better authenti- 
cated than many other things that happened 
two or three thousand years ago — which, how- 
ever, the most sceptical will not presume to 
maintain did not take place — was treated as the 
most idle and ridiculous fable, by the dealers 
in pine-apples themselves. They said, that they 
knew nothing about a market-gardener ; that 
they were, and had always been, the subjects of 
the greatest Prince in the world, compared with 
whom, all other crowned heads ranked merely 
as subjects did with their immediate sovereigns. 
This prince, they said, lived in the most de- 
licious region in the world, and the fruit which 
they imported could only be procured from his 
private gardens, where it sprung from one of 
the trees that had bloomed in the gardens of 



192 THE VOYAGE OF 

the Hesperides. The Vraibleusians were at 
first a little surprised at this information, but 
the old tradition of the market-gardener was 
certainly a very improbable one ; and the ex- 
cellence of the fruit, and the importance 
assumed by those who supplied it, were deemed 
exceedingly good evidence of the truth of the 
present story. When the dealers had repeated 
their new tale for a certain number of years, 
there was not an individual in the Island, who, 
in the slightest degree suspected its veracity. 
One more century, and no person had ever 
heard that any suspicions had ever existed. 

The immediate agents of the Prince of the 
World, could, of course, be no common person- 
ages ; and the servants of the gardenfer, who 
some centuries before had meekly disclaimed 
the proffered reverence of his delighted cus- 
tomers, now insisted upon constant adoration 
from every eater of pine-apples in the Island. 
In spite, however, of the arrogance of the deal- 
ers, of their refusal to be responsible to the 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 193 

laws of the country in which they lived, and of 
the universal precedence which, on all occasions, 
was claimed even by the shop-boys, so decided 
was the taste which the Vraibleusians had ac- 
quired for pine-apples, that there is little doubt, 
that had the dealers in this delicious fruit been 
contented with the respect and influence and 
profit which were the consequences of their 
vocation, the Vraibleusians would never have 
presumed to have grumbled at their arrogance, 
or to have questioned their privileges. But the 
agents, wearied of the limited sphere to which 
their exertions were confined, and encouraged 
by the success which every new claim and 
pretence on their part invariably experienced, 
began to evince an inclination to interfere in 
other affairs besides those of fruit ; and even 
expressed their willingness to undertake no less 
an office than the Management of the Statue. 

A century or two were solely occupied by 
conflicts occasioned by the unreasonable am- 
bition of these dealers in pine-apples. Such 

K 



19^ THE VOYAGE OF 

great political effects could be produced by 
men apparently so unconnected with politics 
as market-gardeners ! Ever supported by the 
lower ranks, whom they supplied with fruit of 
the most exquisite flavour without charge, they 
were, for a long time, often the successful op- 
ponents, always the formidable adversaries, of 
the Vraibleusian aristocracy ; who were the 
objects of their envy, and the victims of their 
rapaciousness. The Government at last, by a 
vigorous effort, triumphed. In spite of the 
wishes of the majority of the nation, the whole 
of the dealers were one day expelled the Island, 
and the Managers of the Statue immediately 
took possession of their establishments. 

By distributing the stock of fruit which was 
on hand very liberally, the Government, for a 
short time, reconciled the people to the change ; 
but as their warehouses became daily more 
empty, they were daily reminded, that unless 
some system were soon adopted, the Islanders 
must be deprived of a luxury to which they 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 105 

had been so long accustomed, that its indul- 
gence had, in fact, become a second nature. 
No one of the managers had the hardihood to 
propose a recurrence to horse-chesnuts. Pride 
and Fear alike forbad a return to their old 
purveyor. Other fruits there were, which, in 
spite of the contract with the market-gardener, 
had at various times been secretly introduced 
into the Island ; but they had never greatly 
flourished, and the Statue was loth to recom- 
mend to the notice of his subjects, productions 
— an indulgence in which, through the instiga- 
tion of the recently expelled agents — it had so 
often denounced as detrimental to the health, 
and had so often discouraged by the severest 
punishments. 

At this difficult and delicate crisis, when 
even expedients seemed exhausted and states- 
men were at fault, the genius of an individual 
offered a substitute. An inventive mind dis- 
covered the power of propagating suckers. 
The expelled dealers had either been ignorant 



196 THE VOYAGE OF 

of this power, or had concealed their know- 
ledge of it. They ever maintained that it was 
impossible for pine-apples to grow except in 
one spot, and that the whole earth must be 
supplied from the gardens of the Palace of the 
Prince of the World. Now the Vraibleusians 
were flattered with the patriotic fancy of eating 
pine-apples of a home-growth ; and the blessed 
fortune of that nation, which did not depend 
for their supply of fruit upon a foreign coun- 
try, was eagerly expatiated on. Secure from 
extortion, and independent of caprice, the Vrai- 
bleusians were no longer to be insulted by the 
presence of foreigners ; who, while they violated 
their laws with impunity, referred the Vraibleu- 
sians, when injured and complaining, to a fo- 
reign master. 

No doubt this appeal to the patriotism, and 
the common sense, and the vanity, of the nation, 
would have been exceedingly successful, had 
not the produce of the suckers been both in- 
ferior in size and deficient in flavour. The 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 197 

Vraibleusians tasted and shook their heads. 
The supply, too, was as imperfect as the arti- 
cle ; for the Government gardeners were but 
sorry horticulturists, and were ever making 
experiments and alterations in their modes of 
culture. The article was scarce, though the 
law had decreed it universal; and the Vrai- 
bleusians were obliged to feed upon fruit, which 
they considered at the same time both poor 
and expensive. They protested as strongly 
against the present system, as its promulgators 
had protested against the former one ; and they 
revenged themselves for their grievances by 
breaking the shop- windows. 

As any result was preferable in the view of 
the Statue, to the re-introduction of foreign 
fruit and foreign agents ; and as the Managers 
considered it highly important that an indisso- 
luble connexion should in future exist between 
the Government and so influential and profit- 
able a branch of trade, they determined to 
adopt the most vigorous measures to infuse a 



198 



THE VOYAGE OF 



taste for suckers in the discontented populace. 
But the eating of fruit being clearly a mat- 
ter of taste, it is evidently a habit which 
should rather be encouraged by a plentiful 
supply of exquisite produce, than enforced by 
the introduction of burning and bayonets. The 
consequences of the strong measures of the Go- 
vernment were, universal discontent and partial 
rebellion. The Islanders, foolishly ascribing the 
miseries which they endured, not so much to 
the folly of the Government, as to the parti- 
cular fruit through which the dissensions had 
originated, began to entertain a disgust for 
pine-apples altogether, and to sickfen at the 
very mention of that production which had 
once occasioned them so much pleasure, and 
which had once commanded such decided ad- 
miration. They universally agreed, that there 
were many other fruits in the world besides 
Pine-apple, which had been too long neg- 
lected. One dilated on the rich flavour of 
Melon ; another panegyrised Pumpkin, and of- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 199 

fered to make up by quantity for any slight 
deficiency in gout : Cherries were not without 
their advocates : Strawberries were not for- 
gotten . One maintained that the Fig had evi- 
dently been pointed out for the established 
fruit of all countries; while another asked, with 
a reeling eye, whether they need go far to seek, 
when a God had condescended to preside over 
the Grape ! In short, there was not a Fruit 
which flourishes that did not find its votaries. 
Strange to say, another foreign product, im- 
ported from a neighbouring country famous 
for its barrenness, counted the most ; and the 
fruit faction, which chiefly frightened the Vrai- 
bleusian Government, was an acid set, who 
crammed themselves with Crab-apples. 

It was this party which first seriously and 
practically conceived the idea of utterly abo- 
lishing the ancient custom of eating pine-apples. 
While they themselves professed to devour no 
other fruit save crabs, they at the same time 
preached the doctrine of an universal fruit 



200 THE VOYAGE OF 

toleration, which they showed would be the 
necessary and natural consequence of the de- 
struction of the old monopoly. Influenced by 
these representations, the great body of the 
people openly joined the Crab-apple men in 
their open attacks. The minority, who still 
retained a taste for pines, did not yield without 
an arduous though ineffectual struggle. Du- 
ring the riots occasioned by this rebellion, the 
hall of audience was broken open, and the mi- 
raculous Statue, which was reputed to have a 
great passion for pine-apples, dashed to the 
ground. The Managers were either slain, or 
disappeared. The whole affairs of the king- 
dom were conducted by a body called " the 
Fruit Committee ;" and thus a total revolution 
of the Government of Vraibleusik was occa- 
sioned by the prohibition of foreign pine-ap- 
ples. What an argument in favour of free 
trade ! 

Every fruit, except that one which had so re- 
cently been supported by the influence of autho- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 201 

rity and the terrors of law, might now be seen 
and devoured in the streets of Hubbabub. In 
one corner men were sucking oranges, as if they 
had lived their whole lives on salt : in another, 
stuffing pumpkin, like cannibals at their first 
child. Here one took in at a mouthful a bunch 
of grapes, from whic!) might have been pressed 
a good quart. Another was lying on the 
ground from a surfeit of mulberries. The 
effect of this irrational excess will be conceived 
by the judicious reader. Calcutta itself never 
suffered from a cholera morbus half so fearful. 
Thousands were dying. Were I Thucydides 
or Boccaccio, I would write pages on this 
plague. The commonwealth itself must soon 
have yielded its ghost, for all order had ceased 
throughout the Island, ever since they had de- 
serted pine-apples. There was no Government : 
anarchy alone was perfect. Of the Fruit Com- 
mittee, many of the members were dead, or 
dying, and the rest were robbing orchards. 
At this moment of disorganization and dis- 
K 5 



THE VOYAGi: OF 

may, a stout soldier, one of the crab-apple 
faction, who had possessed sufficient command 
over himself, in spite of the seeming voracity 
of his appetite, not to indulge to a dangerous 
excess, made his way one morning into the old 
Hall of audience, and there groping about, 
succeeded in finding the golden head of the 
Statue ; which placing on the hilt of his sword, 
the point of which he had stuck in the pedestal, 
he announced to the city, that he had disco- 
vered the secret of conversing with this won- 
derful piece of mechanism ; and that in future, 
he would take care of the health and fortune 
of the State. 

There were some who thought it rather 
strange that the head-piece should possess the 
power of resuming its old functions, although 
deprived of the aid of the body which con- 
tained the greater portion of the machinery. 
As it was evidently well supported by the sword, 
they were not surprised that it should stand with- 
out the use of its legs. But the stout soldier was 



CAPTAIN POPANTLLA. 203 

the only one in the Island who enjoyed the bless- 
ing of health. He was fresh, vigorous, and vigi- 
lant; they, exhausted, weak, and careless of 
every thing except cure. He soon took mea- 
sures for the prevention of future mischief, and 
for the cure of present; and when his fellow- 
Islanders had recovered, some were grateful, 
others fearful, and all obedient. 

As long as the stout soldier lived, no dissen- 
sions on the subject of fruit ever broke out. 
Althoujjh he himself never interfered in the 
sale of the article, and never attempted to create 
another monopoly, still, by his influence and au- 
thority, he prevented any excess being occasioned 
by the Fruit toleration which was enjoyed. In " 
deed the Vraibleusians themselves had suffered 
so severely from their late indiscretions, that 
such excesses were not likely again to occur. 
People began to discover that it was not quite 
so easy a thing as they had imagined for every 
man to be his own Fruiterer; and that gardening 
was a craft, which, like others, required great 



204 THE VOYAGE OF 

Study, long practice, and early experience. 
Unable to supply themselves, the majority be- 
came the victims of quack traders. They 
sickened of spongy apricots, and fozy pears, and 
withered plums, and blighted apples, and taste- 
less berries. They at length suspected that a 
nation might fare better if its race of fruiterers 
were overseen and supported by the State, — if 
their skill and their market were alike secured. 
Although no longer being tempted to suffer 
from a surfeit, the health of the Islanders had 
consequently recovered — this was, after all, but 
a negative blessing ; and they sadly missed a 
luxury once so reasonable and so refreshing. 
They sighed for an established fruit, and a pro- 
tected race of cultivators. But the stout sol- 
dier was so sworn an enemy to any Government 
Fruit, and so decided an admirer of the least 
delightful, that the people, having no desire of 
being forced to eat crab-apples, only longed for 
more delicious food in silence. 

At length the stout soldier died, and on the 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 205 

night of his death the sword, which had so long 
supported the pretended Government, snapped 
in twain. No arrangement existed for carrying 
on the administration of affairs. The master- 
mind was gone, without having imparted the 
secret of conversing with the golden head to 
any successor. The people assembled in agi- 
tated crowds. Each knew his neighbour's 
thoughts without their being declared. All 
smacked their lips, and a cry for pine-apples 
rent the skies. 

At this moment the Aboriginal Inhabitant 
appeared, and announced, that in examining the 
old Hall of Audience, which had been long 
locked up, he had discovered in a corner where 
they had been flung by the stout soldier when 
he stole away the head, the remaining portions 
of the Statue ; that they were quite uninjured, 
and that on fixing the head once more upon 
them, and winding up the works, he was de- 
lighted to find that this great work of his an- 
cestor, under whose superintendence the nation 



206 



THE VOYAGE OF 



had so flourished, resumed all its ancient func- 
tions. The people were in a state of mind for 
a miracle, and they hailed the joyful wonder 
with shouts of triumph. The Statue was pieced 
under the provisional care of the Aboriginal. 
All arrangements for its superintendence were 
left to his discretion ; and its advice was in- 
stantly to be taken upon that subject, which at 
present was nearest the people's hearts. 

But that subject was encompassed with diffi- 
culties. Pine-apples could only be again pnv 
cured by an application to the Prince of the 
World, whose connexion they had rejected ; 
and by an introduction into the Island of those 
foreign agents, who, now convinced that the 
Vraibleusians could not exist without their pre- 
sence, would be more arrogant and ambitious and 
turbulent than ever. Indeed the Aboriginal fear- 
ed that the manai^ement of the Statue would be 
the sine qua rion of negotiation v/ith the Prince. 
If this were granted, it was clear that Vraibleu- 
sia must in future only rank as a dependent 



CAPTAIN POP AN ILL A. .^07 

state of a foreign power, since the direction of 
the whole Island would actually be at the will 
of the supplier of pine-apples. Ah ! this mys- 
terious taste for fruit ! In politics it has often 
occasioned infinite embarrassment.* 

At this critical moment the Aboriginal re- 
ceived information, that although the eating of 
pine-apples had been utterly abolished, and 
although it was generally supposed that a spe- 
cimen of this fruit had long ceased to exist 
in the country, nevertheless a body of persons, 
chiefly consisting of the descendants of the 
Government gardeners, who had succeeded the 
foreign agents, and who had never lost their 
taste for this pre-eminent fruit, had long been in 
the habit of secretly raising, for their private 
eating, pine-apples from the produce of those 
suckers which had originally excited such 
odium, and occasioned such misfortunes. Lono- 
practice, they said, and infinite study, had so 
perfected them in this art, that they now suc- 
ceeded in producing pine-apples, which, both 



208 THE VOYAGE OF 

for size and flavour, were not inferior to the 
boasted produce of a foreign clime. Their spe- 
cimens verified their assertion, and the whole 
nation were invited to an instant trial. The 
long interval which had elapsed since any man 
had enjoyed a treat so agreeable, lent, perhaps, 
an additional flavour to that which was really 
excellent ; and so enraptured and enthusiastic 
were the great majority of the people, that the 
propagators of suckers would have had no diffi- 
culty, had they pushed the point, of procuring as 
favourable and exclusive a contract, as the mar- 
ket gardener of ancient days. 

But the Aboriginal and his advisers were 
wisely mindful, that the passions of a people are 
not arguments for legislation ; and they felt con- 
scious that when the first enthusiasm had sub- 
sided, and when their appetites were somewhat 
satisfied, the discontented voices of many who 
had been long used to other fruits, would be 
recognized even amidst the shouts of the majo- 
rity. They therefore greatly qualified the con- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 209 

tract between the nation and the present fruit- 
erers. An universal Toleration of Fruit was 
allowed ; but no man was to take office under 
Government, or enter the services, or in any 
way become connected with the Court, who was 
not supplied from the Government depots. 

Since this happy restoration. Pine-apple has 
remained the established fruit of the Island of 
Vraibleusia ; and, it must be confessed, has been 
found wonderfully conducive to the health and 
happiness of the Islanders. Some sectarians 
still remain obstinate, or tasteless enough, to 
prefer pumpkin, or gorge the most acid apples, 
or chew the commonest pears ; but they form a 
slight minority, which will gradually altogether 
disappear. The votaries of Pine-apple pretend 
to observe the characteristic effect which such 
food produces upon the feeders. They denounce 
them as stupid, sour, and vulgar. 

But while, notwithstanding an universal to- 
leration, such an unanimity of taste apparently 
prevails throughout the Island, as if Fruit were 



210 THE VOYAGE OF 

a subject of such peculiar nicety, that difference 
of opinion must necessarily rise among men, 
great Fruit factions even now prevail in Vrai- 
bleusia; and what is more extraordinary, pre- 
vail even among the admirers of pine-apples 
themselves. Of these, the most important is a 
sect which professes to discover a natural defi- 
ciency, not only in all other fruits, but even in 
the finest pine-apples. Fruit, they maintain, 
should never be eaten in the state in which 
Nature yields it to man ; and they consequently 
are very indefatigable in prevailing upon the 
less discriminating part of mankind, to heighten 
the flavour of their pine-apples with ginger, or 
even with pepper. Although they profess to 
adopt these stimulants from the great admira- 
tion which they entertain for a high flavour, 
there are, nevertheless, some less ardent people, 
who suspect, that they rather have recourse to 
them from the weakness of their digestion. 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 211 



CHAPTER XVI. 

As his Excellency Prince Popanilla really 
could not think of being annoyed by the atten- 
tions of the mob during his visit to Blunderland, 
he travelled quite in a quiet way, under the 
name of the Chevalier de Fantaisie ; and was 
accompanied only by Skindeep and two at- 
tendants. As Blunderland was one of the 
islands of the Vraibleusian Archipelago, they 
arrived there after the sail of a few hours. 

The country was so beautiful, that the Che- 
valier was almost reminded of Fantaisie. Green 
meadows and flourishing trees made him re- 
member the rail-roads and canals of Vraibleusia 
without regret, or with disgust, which is much 



212 THE VOYAGE OF 

the same. The women were angelic, which is 
the highest praise ; and the men the most light- 
hearted, merry, obliging, entertaining fellows, 
that he had met with in the whole course of his 
life. Och ! it was delicious ! 

After an hour's dashing drive, he arrived at a 
city which, had he not seen Hubbabub, he 
should have considered one of the most consi- 
derable in the world ; but compared with the 
Vraibleusian capital it was a street. 

Shortly after his arrival, according to tlie 
custom of the place, Popanilla joined the pub- 
lic-table of his hotel at dinner. He was rather 
surprised, that instead of knives and forks being 
laid for the convenience of the guests, the plates 
were flanked by daggers and pistols. As Popa- 
nilla now made it a point of never asking a 
question of Skindeep, he addressed himself for 
information to his other neighbour, one of the 
civilest, most hospitable, and joyous rogues, 
that ever set the table in a roar. On Popanilla 
inquiring the reason of their using these singu- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 213 

lar instruments, his neighbour, with an air of 
great astonishment, confessed his ignorance of 
any people ever using any other ; and, in his 
turn asked how they could possibly eat their 
dinner without. The Chevalier was puzzled, 
but he was now too well bred ever to pursue 
an inquiry. 

Popanilla being very thirsty, helped himself 
to a goblet of water, which was at hand^ It 
was the most delightful water that he ever 
tasted. In a few minutes, he found that he 
was a little dizzy, and supposing this megrim 
to be occasioned by the heat of the room, he 
took another draught of water to recover him- 
self. 

As his neighbour was telling him a very ex- 
cellent joke, a man entered the room, and shot 
the joker through the head. The opposite 
guest immediately charged his pistol with ef- 
fect, and revenged the loss. A party of men, 
well armed, now rushed in, and a brisk conflict 
immediately ensued. Popanilla, who was very 



214 THE VOYAGE OF 

dizzy, was fortunately pushed under the table. 
When the firing and slashing had ceased, he 
ventured to crawl out. He found that the as- 
sailants had been beaten off, though unfortu- 
nately with the total loss of all the guests, who 
lay lifeless about the room. Even the prudent 
Skindeep, who had sought refuge in a closet, 
had lost his nose, which was a pity ; because, 
although this gentleman had never been in 
Blunderland before, he had passed his whole 
life in maintaining that the accounts of the dis- 
turbances in that country were greatly exagge- 
rated. Popanilla rang the bell, and the wait- 
ers, who were remarkably attentive, swept away 
the dead bodies, and brought him a roasted 
potatoe for supper. 

The Chevalier soon retired to rest. He 
found at the side of his bed, a blunderbuss, a 
cutlass, and a pike ; and he was directed to se- 
cure the door of his chamber with a great chain 
and a massy iron bar. Feeling great confidence 
in his securities, although he was quite igiio- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 215 

rant of the cause of alarm, and very much ex- 
hausted with the bustle of the day, he enjoyed 
sounder sleep than had refreshed him for many 
weeks. He was awakened in the middle of the 
night by a loud knocking at his door. He im- 
mediately seized his blunderbuss, but recogniz- 
ing the voice of his own valet, he only took his 
pike. His valet told him to unbar without loss 
of time, for the house had been set on fire. 
Popanilla immediately made his escape, but 
found himself surrounded by the incendiaries. 
He gave himself up for lost, when a sudden 
charge of cavalry brought him off in triumph. 
He was convinced of the utility of light-horse. 

The military had arrived with such despatch, 
that the fire was the least eifective that had 
wakened the house for the whole week. It was 
soon extinguished, and Popanilla again retired 
to his bed-room, not forgetting his bar and his 
chain . 

In the morning, Popanilla was roused by his 
landlord, who told him that a large party was 



216 THE VOYAGE OF 

about to partake of the pleasures of the chace, 
and most poUtely inquired whether he would 
like to join them. Popanilla assented, and 
after having eaten an excellent breakfast, and 
received a favourable bulletin of Skindeep's 
wound, he mounted his horse. The party was 
numerous and well armed. Popanilla inquired 
of a huntsman what sport they generally fol- 
lowed in Blunderland. According to the cus- 
tom of this country, where they never give a 
direct answer, the huntsman said that he did 
not know that there was any other but one 
sport. Popanilla thought him a brute, and 
dug his spurs into his horse. 

They went off at a fine rate, and the exercise 
was most exhilarating. In a sliort time, as they 
were cantering along a defile, they received a 
sharp fire from each side, which rather reduced 
their numbers ; but they revenged themselves 
for this loss, when they regained the plain, 
where they burnt two villages, slew two or three 
hundred head of women, and bagged children 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 217 

without number. On their return home to 
dinner, they chased a small body of men over a 
heath for nearly two hours, who afforded good 
sport ; but they did not succeed in running 
them down, as they themselves were in turn 
chased by another party. Altogether, the day 
was not deficient in interest; and Popanilla 
found in the evening his powers of digestion 
improved. 

After passing his days in this manner for 
about a fortnight, Popanilla perfectly recovered 
from his dyspepsia; and Skindeep's wound 
having now healed, he retired with regret from 
this healthy climate. He took advantage of 
the leisure moment, which was afforded during 
the sail, to inquire the reason of the disturbed 
state of this interesting country. He was told, 
that it was in consequence of the majority of 
the inhabitants persisting in importing their 
own Pine-apples. 



218 THE VOYAGE OF 



CHAPTER XVII. 

On his return to Hubbabub, the Chevalier 
de Fantaisie found the city in the greatest con- 
fusion. The military were marshalled in all 
directions — the streets were lined with field- 
pieces — no one was abroad — all the shops were 
shut. Although not a single vehicle was visi- 
ble, Popanilla's progress was slow, from the 
quantity of shells of all kinds which choked up 
the public way. When he arrived at his hotel, 
he found that all the windows were broken. 
He entered, and his landlord immediately pre- 
sented him with his bill. As the landlord was 
pressing, and as Popanilla wished for an oppor- 
tunity of showing his confidence in Skindeep's 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 219 

friendship, he requested him to pay the amount. 
Skindeep sent a messenger immediately to his 
banker ; deeming an ambassador almost as good 
security as a nation, which we all know to be 
the very best. 

This httle arrangement being concluded, the 
landlord resumed his usual civihty. He in- 
formed the travellers, that the whole Island was 
in a state of the greatest commotion, and that 
martial law universally prevailed. He said that 
this disturbance was occasioned by the return 
oft the expedition destined to the Isle of Fan- 
taisie. It appeared, from his account, that after 
sailing about from New Guinea to New Hol- 
land, the expedition had been utterly unable 
not only to reach their new customers, but even 
to obtain the slightest intelligence of their 
locality. No such place as Fantaisie was known 
at Ceylon. Sumatra gave information equally 
unsatisfactory. Java shook its head. Celebes 
conceived the inquirers were jesting. The Phi- 
lippine Isles offered to accommodate them with 
L 2 



220 THE VOYAGE OF 

spices, but could assist them in no other way. 
Had it not been too hot at Borneo, they would 
have fairly laughed outright. The Maldives 
and the Moluccas, the Laccadives and the An- 
damans, were nearly as impertinent. The five 
hundred ships, and the judiciously assorted 
cargo, were therefore under the necessity of re- 
turning home. 

No sooner, however, had they reached Vrai- 
bleusia, than the markets were immediately 
glutted with the unsold goods. All the manu- 
facturers, who had been working day and night 
in preparing for the next expedition, were in- 
stantly thrown out of employ. A run com- 
menced on the Government Bank. That in- 
stitution perceived too late, that the issues of 
pink shells had been too unrestricted. As the 
Emperor of the East had all the gold, the 
Government Bank only protected itself from 
failure by bayoneting its creditors. The ma- 
nufacturers, who were starving, consoled them- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. *221 

selves for the absence of food, by breaking all 
the windows in the country with the discarded 
shells. Every tradesman failed. The shipping- 
interest advertised two or three fleets for fire- 
wood. Riots were universal. The Aboriginal 
was attacked on all sides, and made so stout a 
resistance, and broke so many cudgels on the 
backs of his assailants, that it was supposed 
he would be finally exhausted by his own exer- 
tions. The public funds sunk ten per cei:t. 
dailv. All the Millionaires crashed. In a 
word, dismay, disorganization, despair, perva- 
ded in all directions, the wisest, the greatest, 
and the richest nation in the world. The 
master of the hotel added, with an air of be- 
coming embarrassment, that had not his Ex- 
cellency been fortunately absent, he probably 
would not have had the pleasure of detailing 
to him this little narrative ; that he had often 
been inquired for by the populace at his old 
balcony; and that a crowd had perpetually 



222 THE VOYAGE OF 

surrounded the house till within the last day, 
when a report had got about that his Excel- 
lency had turned into steam and disappeared. 
He added, that caricatures of his Highness 
might be procured in any shop, and his account 
of his voyage obtained at less than half-price. 

" Ah !" said Popanilla, in a tone of great 
anguish, " and all this from losing a lock of 
hair !" 

At this moment, the messenger whom Skin- 
deep had despatched, returned, and informed 
him with great regret, that his banker, to whom 
he had entrusted his whole fortune, had been 
so unlucky as to stop payment during his 
absence. It was expected, however, that when 
his stud was sold, a respectable dividend might 
be realized. This was the personage of pre- 
possessing appearance, who had presented 
Popanilla with a perpetual ticket to his picture- 
gallery. On examining the banker's accounts, 
it was discovered, that his chief loss had been 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 

incurred by supporting that competition esta- 
blishment, where purses were bought full of 
crowns. 

In spite of his own misfortunes, Popanilla 
hastened to console his friend. He explained 
to him, that things were not quite so bad as 
they appeared ; that society consisted of two 
classes — those who laboured, and those who 
paid the labourers — that each class was equally 
useful, because, if there were none to pay, the 
labourers would not be remunerated ; and if 
there were none to labour, the payers would 
not be accommodated : that Skindeep might 
still rank in one of these classes ; that he might 
therefore still be an useful member of society ; 
that if he were useful, he must therefore be 
good ; and that, if he were good, he must there- 
fore be happy ; because Happiness is the conse- 
quence of assisting the beneficial developeraent 
of the ameliorating principles of the social 
action. 



224 THE VOYAGE OF 

As he was speaking, two gentlemen in blue, 
with red waistcoats, entered the chamber, and 
seized Popanilla by the collar. The Vraibleii- 
sian Government, which is so famous for its 
interpretation of National Law, had arrested the 
Ambassador for high-treason. 



CAPTAIN' POFANILLA. 225 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

A Prison conveyed the most lugubrious 
ideas to the mind of the unhappy Plenipoten- 
tiary ; and shut up in a hackney-coach, with a 
man on each side of him with a cocked pistol, 
he formed the most gloomy conceptions of dark 
dungeons, confined cells, overwhelming fetters, 
black bread, and green water. He arrived 
at the principal gaol in Hubbabub. He was 
ushered into an elegantly furnished apartment, 
with French sash windows and a piano. Its 
lofty walls were entirely hung with a fanciful 
paper, which represented a Tuscan vineyard ; 
the ceiling was covered with sky and clouds ; 
roses were in abundance; and the windows, 
L 5 



226 THE VOYAGE OF 

though well secured, excited no jarring associa- 
tions in the mind of the individual they 
illumined, protected, as they were, by polished 
bars of cut-steel. This retreat had been fitted 
up by a poetical politician, who had recently 
been confined for declaring, that the Statue 
was an old idol, originally imported from the 
Sandwich Isles. Taking up a brilliantly bound 
volume, which reposed upon a rose-wood table, 
Popanilla recited aloud a sonnet to Liberty ; but 
the account given of the goddess by the bard 
was so confused, and he seemed so little ac- 
quainted with his subject, that the reader be- 
gan to suspect it was an effusion of the gaoler. 

Next to being a Plenipotentiary, Popanilla 
preferred being a prisoner. His daily meals 
consisted of every delicacy in season : a marble 
bath was ever at his service ; a billiard-room 
and dumb-bells always ready ; and his old 
friends, the most eminent physician, and the 
most celebrated practitioner in Hubbabub, 
called upon him daily to feel his pulse and 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 227 

look at his tongue. These attentions autho- 
rised a hope that he might yet again be an 
Ambassador ; that his native land might still be 
discovered, and its resources still be developed : 
but when his gaoler told him, that the rest of 
the prisoners were treated in a manner equally 
indulgent, because the Vraibleusians are the 
most humane people in the world, Popanilla's 
spirits became somewhat depressed. 

He was greatly consoled, however, by a daily 
visit from a body of the most beautiful, the 
most accomplished, and the most virtuous fe- 
males in Hubbabub ; who tasted his food to 
see that his cook did his duty, recommended 
him a plentiful use of pine-apple well peppered, 
and made him a present of a very handsome 
shirt, with worked frills and ruffles, to be 
hanged in. This enchanting committee gene- 
rally confined their attentions to murderers, 
and other victims of the passions, who were 
deserted in their hour of need by the rest of 
the society they had outraged ; but Popanilla 



228 THE VOYAGE OF 

being a foreigner, a Prince, and a Plenipoten- 
tiary, and not ill-looking, naturally attracted 
a great deal of notice from those who desire 
the amelioration of their species. 

Popanilla was so pleased with his mode of 
life, and had acquired such a taste for poetry, 
pine-apples, and pepper, since he had ceased 
to be an active member of society, that he ap- 
plied to have his trial postponed, on the ground 
of the prejudice which had been excited against 
him by the public press. As his trial was at 
present inconvenient to the Government, the 
postponement was allowed on these grounds. 

In the meantime, the public agitation was 
subsiding. The nation reconciled itself to the 
revolution in its fortunes. The ci-devant Mil- 
lionaires were busied with retrenchment ; the 
Government engaged in sweeping in as many 
pink shells as were lying about the country ; 
the mechanics contrived to live upon chalk 
and sea-weed ; and as the Aboriginal would 
not give his corn away gratis, the Vraibleusians 



CAPTAIN POP AN ILL A. 229 

determined to give up bread. The intellectual 
part of the nation were intently interested in dis- 
covering the cause of the National Distress. 
One of the philosophers said, that it might all 
be traced to the effects of a war in which the 
Vraibleusians had engaged about a century be- 
fore. Another showed, that it was altogether 
clearly ascribable to the pernicious custom of 
issuing pink shells ; but if, instead of this mode 
of representing wealth, they had had recourse 
to blue shells, the nation would now have ad- 
vanced to a state of prosperity, which it had 
never yet reached. A third, demonstrated to 
the satisfaction of himself and his immediate 
circle, that it was all owing to the Statue hav- 
ing recently been repaired with silver instead 
of iron. The public was unable to decide be- 
tween these conflicting opinions; but they were 
still more desirous of finding out a remedy for 
the evil, than the cause of it. 

An eloquent and philosophical writer, who 
entertains very consolatory opinions of human 



230 THE VOYAGE OF 

nature, has recently told us, that " it is in the 
nature of things that the intellectual wants of 
society should be supphed. Whenever the man 
is required — invariably the man will appear." 
So it happened in the present instance. A pub- 
lic instructor jumped up in the person of Mr. 
Flummery Flam — the least insinuating and the 
least plausible personage that ever performed 
the easy task of gulling a nation. His manners 
were vulgar, his voice was sharp, and his lan- 
guage almost unintelligible. Flummery Flam 
was a provisional optimist. He maintained that 
every thing would be for the best, if the nation 
would only follow his advice. He told the 
Vraibleusians, that the present universal and 
overwhelming distress was all and entirely and 
merely to be ascribed to "a slight over- 
trading," and that all that was required to set 
every thing right again was " a little time.'' 
He showed that this overtrading and every 
other injudicious act that had ever been com- 
mitted, was entirely to be ascribed to the nation 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 281 

being imbued with erroneous and imperfect 
ideas of the nature of Demand and Supply. 
He proved to them, that if a tradesman cannot 
find customers, his goods will generally stay 
upon his own hands. He explained to the 
Aboriginal the meaning of rent ; to the mecha- 
nics the nature of wages ; to the manufacturers 
the signification of profits. He recommended 
that a large edition of his own work should be 
printed at the public expense, and sold for his 
private profit. Finally, he explained how an 
immediate, though temporary, relief would be 
afforded to the State, by the encouragement of 
Emigration. 

The Vraibleusians began to recover their 
spirits. The Government had the highest con- 
fidence in Flummery Flam, because Flummery 
Flam served to divert the public thoughts. By 
his direction, lectures were instituted at the 
corner of every street, to instil the right prin- 
ciples of politics into the mind of the great 
body of the people. Every person, from the 



232 THE VOYAGE i)V 

Managers of the Statue down to the chalk- 
chewing mechanics, attended lectures on Flum- 
mery- Flammism. The Vraibleusians suddenly 
discovered, that it was the great object of a 
nation not to be the most powerful, or the 
richest, or the best, or the wisest, but to be 
the most FIummery-Flammistical. 



CAPTAIN FOPANILLA. 2B3 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The day fixed for Popanilla's trial was at 
hand. The Prince was not unprepared for the 
meeting. For some weeks before the appointed 
day, he had been deeply studying the published 
speeches of the greatest rhetorician that flou- 
rished at the Vraibleusian bar. He was so 
inflated with their style, that he nearly blew 
down the gaoler every morning when he re- 
hearsed a passage before him. Indeed, Popa- 
nilla looked forward to his trial with feelings 
of anticipated triumph . He determined boldly 
and fearlessly to state the principles upon 
which his public conduct had been founded, 
the sentiments he professed on most of the 



S34 THE VOYAGE OF 

important subjects which interest mankind, and 
the views he entertained of the progress of So- 
ciety. He would then describe, in the most 
glowing language, the domestic happiness which 
he enjoyed in his native Isle. He would paint 
in harrowing sentences, the eternal misery and 
disgrace which his ignominious execution would 
entail upon the grey-headed father, who looked 
up to him as a prop for his old age — the af- 
fectionate mother who perceived in him her 
husband again a youth — the devoted wife, who 
could never survive his loss — and the sixteen 
children, chiefly girls, whom his death would 
infallibly send upon the parish. This, with 
an eulogistic peroration on the moral qualities 
of the Vraibleusians, and the political import- 
ance of Vraibleusia, would, he had no doubt, 
not only save his neck, but even gain him a 
moderate pension. 

The day arrived, the Court was crowded, 
and Pbpanilla had the satisfaction of observing 
in the newspapers, that tickets for the best 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. ^35 

gallery to witness his execution, were selling 
at a premium. The indictment was read. He 
listened to it with intense attention. To his 
surprise, he found himself accused of stealing 
two hundred and nineteen Camelopards. All 
was now explained. He perceived that he had 
been mistaken the whole of this time for ano- 
ther person. He could not contain himself. 
He burst into an exclamation. He told the 
judge, in a voice of mingled delight, humility, 
and triumph, that it was possible he might 
be guilty of high-treason, because he was igno- 
rant of what the crime consisted — ^but as for 
stealing two hundred and nineteen Camelo- 
pards, he declared that such a larceny was a 
moral impossibility, because he had never seen 
one such animal in the whole course of his 
life. 

The Judge was most kind and considerate. 
He told the prisoner, that the charge of stealing 
Camelopards was a fiction of law ; that he had 
no doubt he had never seen one in the whole 



236 THE VOYAGE OF 

course of his life, nor in all probability had 
any one in the whole Court. He explained to 
Popanilla, that originally, this animal greatly 
abounded in Vraibleusia ; that the present 
Court, the highest and most ancient in the 
kingdom, had then been instituted _for the 
punishment of all those who molested or in- 
jured that splendid animal. The species, his 
Lordship continued, had been long extinct ; 
but the Vraibleusians, duly reverencing the in- 
stitutions of their ancestors, had never pre- 
sumed to abrogate the authority of the Came- 
Ibpard Court, or invest any other with equal 
privileges. Therefore, his Lordship added, in 
order to try you in this Court for a modern 
offence of high treason, you must first be in- 
troduced by fiction of law as a stealer of Came- 
lopards, and then being in prasenti regio, in a 
manner, we proceed to business by a special 
power for the absolute offence. Popanilla was 
so confounded by the kindness of the Judge, 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 237 

and the clearness of his Lordship's statement, 
that he quite lost the thread of his peroration. 

The trial proceeded. Every body with 
whom Popanilla had conversed during his visit 
to Vraibleusia was subpaened against him, and 
the evidence was conclusive. Skindeep, who 
w^as brought up by a warrant from the King's 
Bench, proved the fact of Popanilla's landing ; 
and that he had given himself out as a political 
exile, the victim of a tyrant, a corrupt aristo- 
cracy, and a misguided people. But either 
from a secret feeling towards his former friend, 
or from his aversion to answer questions, this 
evidence was on the whole not very satisfac- 
tory. 

The bookseller proved the publication of that 
fatal volume, whose deceptive and glowing 
statements were alone sufficient to ensure Po- 
panilla's fate. It- was in vain that the author 
avowed that he had never written a line of his 
own book. This only made his imposture 



^38 THE VOYAGE OF 

more evident. The little philosopher, with 
whom he had conversed at Lady Spirituelle's, 
and who, being a friend of Flummery Flam, 
had now obtained a place under Government, 
invented the most condemning evidence. The 
Marquess of Moustache sent in a state paper, 
desiring to be excused from giving evidence on 
account of the delicate situation in which he 
had been placed with regard to the prisoner ; 
but he referred them to his former Private 
Secretary, who, he had no doubt, would afford 
every information. Accordingly, the President 
of Fort Jobation, who had been brought over 
specially, finished the business. 

The Judge, although his family had suffered 
considerably by the late madness for specula- 
tion, summed up in the most impartial manner. 
He told the jury, that although the case was 
quite clear against the prisoner, they were 
bound to give him the advantage of every rea- 
sonable doubt. The foreman was about to de- 
liver the verdict, when a trumpet sounded, and 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 239 

a Government messenger ran breathless into 
court. Presenting a scroll to the presiding ge- 
nius, he informed him that a remarkably able 
young man, recently appointed one of the Ma- 
nagers of the Statue, in consequence of the in- 
convenience which the public sustained from 
the innumerable quantity of edicts of the Sta- 
tue at present in force, had last night consoli- 
dated them all into this single act ; which, to 
render its operation still more simple, was gift- 
ed with a retrospective power for the last half 
century. 

His Lordship, looking over the scroll, passed 
a high eulogium upon the young consolidator ; 
compared to whom, he said, Justinian was a 
country attorney. Observing, however, that 
the crime of high treason had been accidentally 
omitted in the consolidated legislation of Vrai- 
bleusia, he directed the jury to find the prisoner 
" not guilty.'' As in Vraibleusia the law believes 
every man's character to be perfectly pure, 
until a jury of twelve persons finds the reverse, 



240 



THE VOYAGE OF 



Popanilla was kicked out of court, amid the 
hootings of the mob, without a stain upon his 
reputation. 

It was very late in the evening when he left 
the court. Exhausted both in mind and body, 
the individual who had recently had the grati- 
fication of being declared innocent by the laws 
of the country in which he lived, at last sunk 
down nearly senseless upon the steps of the 
Asiatic Club-house. The smell of mulhgatawny 
soup revived him exceedingly, and being of a 
reflecting mind, he now discovered the utility of 
those odours, which before had only incon- 
venienced him. The mischief being now done, 
and being totally unemployed, according to 
custom, Popanilla began to moralize. " I be- 
gin to perceive," said he, " that it is possible 
for a nation to exist in too artificial a state — that 
a people may both think too much and do too 
much. All here exists in a state of exaggera- 
tion. The nation itself professes to be in a 
situation in which it is impossible for any na- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 241 

tion ever to be naturally placed. To main- 
tain themselves in this false position, they ne- 
cessarily have recourse to much destructive con- 
duct, and to many fictitious principles. And 
as the character of a people is modelled on 
that of their Government, in private life, this 
system of exaggeration equally prevails, and 
equally produces a due quantity of ruinous 
actions, and false sentiment ! in the mean 
time, I am starving, and dare not show my face 
in the light of day !"'' 

As he said this, the house opposite was sud- 
denly lit up, and the words *' emigration 
COMMITTEE," Were distinctly visible on a trans- 
parent blind. A sudden resolution entered Po- 
panilla's mind to make an application to this 
body. He entered the Committee-room, and 
took his place at the end of a row of individuals, 
who were severally examined. When it was 
his turn to come forward, he began to tell his 
story from the beginning, and would certainly 
have got to the lock of hair, had not the Presi- 



5242 THE VOYAGE OF 

dent enjoined silence. Popanilla was informed, 
that the last Emigration-squadron was about 
to sail in a few minutes ; and that although the 
number was completed, his broad shoulders and 
powerful frame had gained him a place. He 
was presented with a spade, a blanket, and a 
hard biscuit ; and in a quarter of an hour was 
quitting the port of Hubbabub. 

" Once more upon the waters — yet once more !'' 

As the Emigration-squadron quitted the har- 
bour, two large fleets hove in sight. The first 
was the expedition which had been despatched 
against the decapitating King of the North, and 
which now returned, heavily laden with his res- 
cued subjects. The other was the force which 
had flown to the preservation of the body of the 
decapitated King of the South, and which now 
brought back his IMajesty embalmed, half a 
hundred Princes of the blood, and a whole emi- 
grant Aristocracy. 

What became of the late Fantaisian Ambas- 



CAPTAIN POPANILLA. 245 

sador, whether he were destined for Van Die- 
man's Land, or for Canada ; what rare adven- 
tures he experienced in Sydney, or Port Jack- 
son, or Guelph City, or Goodrich Town ; and 
whether he discovered, that man might exist in 
too natural a state, as well as in too artificial a 
one ; will probably be discovered, if ever we 
obtain Captain Popanilla's Second Voyage. 



THK END. 



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